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T-Mobile has announced its plans to purchase Ka’ena, the parent company of Mint Mobile, for a cash and stock deal that could amount to $1.35 billion. Mint Mobile, which was founded in 2015 and spun out from Ultra in 2019, has been backed by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds since 2018. Reynolds will remain as the public face of Mint, and T-Mobile hopes to benefit from the marketing strategy that has made Mint successful.
Mint has been operating as a mobile virtual network operator on T-Mobile’s network since its inception. Its budget-conscious pricing and charismatic pitchman have made it a popular option for consumers looking to save money on their mobile plans. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert confirmed in a YouTube video that Mint will continue to offer its $15 per month pricing.
Ka’ena also owns Ultra Mobile, a provider focused on international calling, and wholesaler Plum. Mint founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will continue to manage the brands, which T-Mobile says will operate as a separate business unit. T-Mobile hopes that the acquisition of Mint and Ultra will complement its existing prepaid services.
The final price that T-Mobile will pay for Ka’ena will depend on its performance for a certain period before and after the deal closes. The deal is expected to be completed later this year. Reynolds is believed to own between 20 and 25 percent of Mint, according to an August 2021 report by The New York Post.
“We are excited to use our scale and owners’ economics to help supercharge Mint and Ultra Mobile into the future,” said Sievert. “Over the long-term, we’ll also benefit from applying the marketing formula Mint has become famous for across more parts of T-Mobile.”
Reynolds added, “Mint Mobile is the best deal in wireless, and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers. 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.“