T-Mobile Buys Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile

(Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)
(Photo credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

As if being a Hollywood heartthrob and a gin baron wasn’t enough, the guy who plays Deadpool just sold his mobile phone company for more than $1 billion.

T-Mobile agreed to purchase the famously affordable and Ryan Reynolds-backed wireless operator Mint Mobile for roughly $1.35 billion Wednesday.

Minty Fresh

Mint Mobile receives plenty of praise for its uniquely stripped-down advertisements, which have Reynolds standing in front of a green screen, cracking self-deprecating jokes with customers and family members. One commercial even featured legendary and reclusive comedian Rick Moranis for no reason other than Reynolds is a fan and persuaded him to do it. In a Twitter post, Reynolds and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert assured fans that Mint’s marketing style will remain untouched.

But beyond the unconventional ads, Mint is even better known for its budget phone plans that range in price from just $15 for 4 gigs of data a month to $30 for unlimited data. Comparable plans with AT&T and Verizon start at $50 and $70, respectively, for solo phone subscriptions. The acquisition will add boatloads of lower-income clients who use pay-as-you-go phones to T-Mobile’s customer base, which today stands at roughly 21 million prepaid subscribers. With Mint under its belt, the company expects to gain about 3 million more customers:

  • With a combination of 39% cash and 61% stock, T-Mobile plans to buy Mint’s parent company Ka-ena Corp. The final purchase price, which should be finalized later this year, will be based on Mint reaching certain performance goals before and after the transaction, Bloomberg reported. The acquisition likely won’t face many technical hurdles as Mint already operates off T-Mobile cell phone towers.
  • Mint’s co-founder, David Glickman, told Bloomberg the cellular company’s annual subscriber growth over the past four years has been 50% and revenue growth has been 70% or more each year.

Man About Town: Reynolds has become quite the entrepreneur in recent years. In addition to owning an undisclosed but “significant” stake in Mint, the merc with a mouth co-owns Welsh soccer team Wrexham AFC alongside It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Rob McElhenney, and in 2020, his distillery, Aviation American Gin, sold to Diageo for $610 million. As Deadpool would say, Chimichangas indeed!