CORRECTED-T-Mobile to compete for Leap users 'the old fashioned way' -exec

Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:24pm EDT

(Corrects second paragraph to say AT&T proposed buying Leap, not T-Mobile)

By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - T-Mobile US hopes to win over Leap Wireless customers by competing for them "the old fashioned way," a top executive for T-Mobile US said on Tuesday.

Some analysts had speculated that T-Mobile or another company could make a counteroffer for Leap, after AT&T Inc's proposed purchase of Leap for $1.2 billion, or $15 per share.

T-Mobile US Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert declined to say whether his company would put in a bid for Leap.

"We're going to take Leap the old fashioned way, customer by customer in the market and in doing so we'll probably save ourselves billions of billions of dollars," Sievert said in an interview.

Earlier this year T-Mobile US merged with MetroPCS, which was long seen as a natural merger partner with Leap as both companies have a similar customer base and marketing strategy.

Leap's shares have traded above the acquisition price since the deal was announced on Friday evening, fueling speculation that it may receive another bid. Leap shares were up 26 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $17.21 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday afternoon. (Reporting by Sinead Carew)