For years, viewers have seen actor (and Canadian) Ryan Reynolds’ face plastered on their televisions, touting the benefits of Mint Mobile, which is designed to purportedly offer affordable mobile devices. Today, it has been announced that T-Mobile US has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ka’ena Corporation and its subsidiaries, which includes the Mint Mobile direct-to-consumer (D2C) prepaid wireless brand as well as Ultra Mobile, the wireless service that offers international calling options, and wholesaler Plum. T-Mobile will pay up to a maximum of US$1.35 billion in a combination of 39% cash and 61% stock to acquire Ka’ena.
T-Mobile is acquiring the brands’ sales, marketing, digital, and service operations, and plans to use its supplier relationships and distribution scale to help the brands to grow. The carrier promises to offer “competitive pricing and greater device inventory to more U.S. consumers seeking value offerings.” In a video making the announcement, Sievert confirms the US$15/mo. plan will continue to be offered.
T-Mobile says that with the acquisition, the company would be able to leverage Mint’s digital D2C marketing expertise as part of its broader portfolio to reach new customer segments and geographies. The T-Mobile prepaid Metro and Connect brands will reportedly remain in the company’s line-up.
“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,” says Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “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.”
“Our brands have thrived on the T-Mobile network, and we are thrilled that this agreement will take them even further, bringing the many benefits of 5G to even more Americans,” adds David Glickman, founder and CEO of Mint, Ultra and Plum. “This transaction validates our meteoric success and will unite two proven industry innovators committed to doing things differently in the wireless industry.”
“Mint Mobile is the best deal in wireless and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers,” comments Reynolds. In his signature comedic style, he added: “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.”
Following the deal’s close, Mint’s 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. Owner Ryan Reynolds will continue in his creative role on behalf of Mint.
The actual price to be paid by T-Mobile will be based upon Ka’ena’s performance during certain periods before and after the closing, notes the company. It is also subject to working capital adjustments and other contractual reserves.
The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions but it is expected to close later this year. T-Mobile does not currently expect the transaction to have any impact on the company’s 2023 guidance or its ongoing stock repurchase program.
Mint Mobile remains unavailable in Canada (though subscribers in the U.S. can roam from Mint Mobile plans while visiting the country). A Mint Mobile Canada website is set up, however, featuring spokesperson (and part owner) Reynolds with a hilarious ticker explaining why the service isn’t here just yet.
Check out the announcement video featuring Sievert and Reynolds.