T-Mobile agrees to buy Mint Mobile for $1.35 billion

The deal comes as T-Mobile looks to expand its efforts in the budget sector of the wireless market.

T-Mobile Mint Mobile acquisition announcement header

T-Mobile has announced an agreement with Mint Mobile to acquire the budget carrier for $1.35 billion. The acquisition has been rumored since January when reports surfaced that the Uncarrier had expressed interest in buying out the MVNO, which is known for providing wireless service for as low as $15 per month.

By now, you’re probably familiar with Mint Mobile thanks to its previous owner: Ryan Reynolds. The actor and entrepreneur purchased an ownership stake in Mint Mobile back in 2019, becoming the company’s primary spokesperson and pumping a lot of its marketing through his -for lack of better words – unique Maximum Effort agency. Before, the service was already doing pretty well thanks to its competitive pricing and decent data plans.

“I never dreamt I’d own a wireless company and I certainly never dreamt I’d sell it to T-Mobile,” Reynolds tweeted in reaction to the news. “Life is strange and I’m incredibly proud and grateful.”

Luckily, it looks like Reynolds will be sticking around after the acquisition closes. T-Mobile is promising to keep him on board “in his creative role on behalf of Mint,” which sounds like we’ll keep getting ads featuring Reynolds promoting Mint and its latest offerings.

The acquisition also includes other brands under Ka’ena Corporation, Mint’s parent company. This includes Ultra Mobile, another budget-oriented carrier, and wireless wholesale provider Plum. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, with its final valuation dependent on how well Mint performs “over the next few months”during certain periods before and after the closing,” according to T-Mobile. The payment will be distributed as 39 percent cash and 61 percent stock.

“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 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.”

In addition to Reynolds, Mint founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will remain onboard at T-Mobile to continue managing 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,” said Glickman said in a statement. “This transaction validates our meteoric success and will unite two proven industry innovators committed to doing things differently in the wireless industry.”

T-Mobile’s buyout of Mint signals renewed efforts by the Uncarrier to have a stronger presence in the budget sector of the wireless market. After it sold Boost Mobile to Dish during its monumental merger with Sprint, it’s only had MetroPCS to lean on, which obviously doesn’t have the same pizzazz as Mint. Given Mint already operated on its network, this certainly seems like a natural fit for both companies.