Why it matters: Mint is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) offering its services over T-Mobile’s network. The acquisition is Team Magenta’s third big M&A deal in recent years, following the purchase of MetroPCS in 2013 and the merger with Sprint in 2018. While the sale ensures a massive payday for Mint Mobile shareholders, it could also help T-Mobile gain back some of the customers it lost after it sold Boost Mobile to Dish following the Sprint deal.
T-Mobile is buying budget wireless carrier Mint Mobile’s parent Ka’ena Corporation in a deal that could be worth up to $1.35 billion in a combination of 39 percent cash and 61 percent stock. The deal also includes international calling service Ultra Mobile and wireless wholesaler Plum.
As part of the deal, T-Mobile is acquiring Mint, Ultra and Plum’s sales, marketing, digital, and service operations. The self-proclaimed un-carrier also said that it expects the acquisition to help it gain a foothold in new customer segments and markets across the US.
Mint Mobile is part owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, best known for playing the titular character in 2016’s Deadpool and 2018’s Deadpool 2. Reynolds also appears in Mint Mobile ads, and T-Mobile says the brand’s association with the actor will continue. According to the carrier, Reynolds will continue to appear in Mint Mobile’s ads, and will stay on in his creative role at the company.
T-Mobile also published a video on YouTube, where Reynolds was seen joking with the company’s CEO, Mike Sievert. In the clip, Sievert assured Mint customers that Team Magenta will continue with the company’s $15 per month pricing, and promised to offer “more good stuff” in the future.
Reynolds said he was happy with the deal, and was looking forward to working with T-Mobile in the future. In a tweet, the actor said, “I never dreamt I’d own a wireless company and I certainly never dreamt I’d sell it to T-Mobile. Life is strange and I’m incredibly proud and grateful.”
Despite T-Mobile already having low-cost prepaid services like Metro and Connect in its portfolio, the company believes the Mint acquisition will be complementary to its current offerings. T-Mo also said all acquired brands will continue to remain in operation following the takeover.
Sievert attempted to assure concerned users that the acquisition will not reduce competition in the low-cost prepaid market, but will instead be helpful for customers in the long run. According to him, “We think customers are really going to win with a more competitive and expansive Mint and Ultra.”