T-Mobile is acquiring Mint Mobile, the budget-friendly wireless provider partially owned by Ryan Reynolds, in a deal valued at up to $1.35 billion, the company announced on Wednesday. The move indicates that T-Mobile is looking to boost its prepaid offerings.
In a blog post, T-Mobile said it reached a deal to acquire Ka’ena Corporation, the parent company to prepaid wireless brands Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile, as well as wireless wholesaler Plum, for a maximum of $1.35 billion in a combination of 39% cash and 61% stock. The final purchase price will be based on Mint’s performance during certain periods before and after the closing. T-Mobile expects to close the deal later this year.
“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,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert in a statement. “Over the long-term, we’ll also benefit from applying the marketing formula Mint has become famous for across more parts of T-Mobile. We think customers are really going to win with a more competitive and expansive Mint and Ultra.”
Sievert said in a video posted on Wednesday that the company will retain Mint’s $15 per month pricing.
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.
T-Mobile began considering its purchase of Mint Mobile in January, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Mint Mobile doesn’t have any physical retail stores, as its business operates entirely online. The carrier’s service is already provided by T-Mobile as part of a wholesale network-sharing agreement. For context, Mint Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (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.
The company says Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile join its current prepaid service offerings, which include Metro by T-Mobile, T-Mobile branded prepaid and Connect by T-Mobile.