T-Mobile is acquiring the popular Mint Mobile prepaid wireless brand, which is owned in part by celebrity Ryan Reynolds. The deal, according to Bloomberg, is valued at “as much as” $1.35 billion and it comes as part of T-Mobile’s effort to “bolster its prepaid phone business and reach more lower-income customers.”
As T-Mobile details in its blog post announcing the deal, the acquisition is for Ka’ena Corp. This is the parent company for Mint Mobile, wholesaler Plum, and the lesser-known Ultra Mobile brand. Ultra Mobile is a “unique wireless service offering international calling options to communities across the country.”
Mint Mobile has become an increasingly popular prepaid wireless brand, due in part to its close ties to Ryan Reynolds. In 2019, Reynolds acquired a 20% to 25% ownership stake in Mint Mobile for an undisclosed amount of money.
In a statement on the acquisition, Reynolds said that the new deal will allow Mint Mobile to further “deliver for our customers.”
Mint Mobile is the best deal in wireless and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers. We are so happy T-Mobile beat out an aggressive last-minute bid from my mom Tammy Reynolds as we believe the excellence of their 5G network will provide a better strategic fit than my mom’s slightly-above-average mahjong skills. I am so proud of the entire Mint team and so excited for what’s to come.
For those unfamiliar, Mint Mobile offers wireless plans starting at $15 per month for unlimited talk and text and 4GB of 5G data. The “Unlimited” plan offers unlimited talk and text, plus 35GB of 5G data, for just $30 per month. This makes it an incredibly enticing option compared to traditional postpaid carrier plans.
Mint is considered a “mobile virtual network operator,” or MVNO, and it operates on the T-Mobile network. This is one of the things that made the prepaid brand a lucrative acquisition target for T-Mobile. It should also make for a relatively smooth transition period.
T-Mobile expects the deal to close sometime later this year. T-Mobile describes Mint as “complementary to the company’s current prepaid service offerings Metro by T-Mobile, T-Mobile branded prepaid and Connect by T-Mobile.”
And for those worried: T-Mobile says that “owner Ryan Reynolds will continue on in his creative role on behalf of Mint.”