Just under three and a half years after Ryan Reynolds bought into Mint Mobile and became the public face of the provider, the Deadpool star is set to make a windfall from his investment. T-Mobile has announced an agreement to buy Mint Mobile's parent company Ka’ena for as much as $1.35 billion in cash and stock.
The final price will depend on Ka’ena’s performance for a certain period before and after the deal closes, which is expected to happen later this year. Ka’ena also owns Ultra Mobile, a provider focused on international calling, and wholesaler Plum.
Reynolds is believed to own between 20 and 25 percent of Mint, according to a 2021 report by The New York Post. He'll stay on in his creative role as Mint spokesman. Mint was founded in 2015 and spun out from Ultra in late 2019.
Mint, which has run on T-Mobile since its inception as a mobile virtual network operator, found success thanks to its charismatic pitch man and budget-conscious pricing. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert confirmed in a YouTube video regarding the news that Mint will keep its $15 per month pricing.
T-Mobile said in a statement that Mint and Ultra will complement its existing prepaid services. Mint founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will continue to manage the brands, which T-Mobile says will generally operate as a separate business unit. Meanwhile, T-Mobile is hoping to tap into the marketing nous of Mint and its famous co-owner.
“Mint has built an incredibly successful digital direct-to-consumer business that continues to deliver for customers on the Un-carrier’s leading 5G network and now we are excited to use our scale and owners' economics to help supercharge it — and Ultra Mobile — into the future," Sievert said. "Over the long-term, we’ll also benefit from applying the marketing formula Mint has become famous for across more parts of T-Mobile."
“Mint Mobile is the best deal in wireless and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers," Reynolds said. "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."