Mint Mobile, the budget wireless provider partially owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, is being acquired by T-Mobile in a cash and stock deal worth up to $1.35bn (£1.1bn).
T-Mobile has acquired Ka'ena Corp, giving it access to Mint, together with Ultra Mobile and wholesaler, Plum. The brands already use T-Mobile for their network but will be run as a separate business unit. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless plans for as little as $15 a month and an unlimited plan for $30 a month. T-Mobile said Mint’s pricing would remain unchanged. Following the deal’s close, Ryan Reynolds will continue on in his creative role on behalf of Mint and continue appearing in commercials. Mint founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will remain onboard at T-Mobile to manage the brands, which will generally operate as a separate business unit.
The acquisition of Mint Mobile is part of T-Mobile's plan to boost its prepaid offerings. Mint Mobile is an MVNO, which means that it buys wholesale access to a wireless network instead of owning and operating it. T-Mobile is acquiring Mint Mobile's sales, marketing, digital, and service operations, and plans to use its supplier relationships and distribution scale to help the brands to grow and offer competitive pricing and greater device inventory to more consumers. The company will also leverage Mint’s digital D2C marketing to reach new customer segments and geographies.
Ryan Reynolds commented in an interview with CNBC that "phone service is an essential service. A lot of people that are in my position that come from showbiz and that sort of stuff, you’re sort of looking at aspirational items. Our North Star is anti-aspiration items." He also said that he was excited that T-Mobile could scale Mint to reach more people. After the deal is completed, David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim, Mint’s founders, will stay onboard at T-Mobile to manage the brands, T-Mobile said. T-Mobile expects to close the deal later this year.
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