T-Mobile to Buy Low-Cost Carrier Mint Mobile

T-Mobile announced on Wednesday that it planned to acquire Ka’ena Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Mint Mobile, a cost-friendly, prepaid wireless brand that is partly owned by the actor Ryan Reynolds, in a deal for up to $1.35 billion.

Ultra Mobile, a wireless service that offers international calling, and Plum, a wireless wholesaler, are also part of the deal.

The sale is expected to become final later this year.

Mint Mobile started in 2016 and gained popularity in recent years among consumers seeking cheaper alternatives to expensive mobile plans. The company offers premium wireless plans for as little as $15 a month and an unlimited plan for $30 a month.

T-Mobile said Mint’s pricing would remain unchanged.

“Mint has built an incredibly successful digital direct-to-consumer business that continues to deliverfor customers,” Mike Sievert, the chief executive of T-Mobile, said in a statement.

Mr. Reynolds, whose acting career started in the 1990s and who is more recently known for his role as Wade Wilson in the “Deadpool” films, purchased an ownership stake in Mint Mobile in 2019, according to Variety.

At the time, he said celebrities typically invest in high-end products like skin care brands or alcohol companies, but that he wanted to champion “a more practical approach to the most essential technology.”

In 2020, Mr. Reynolds and the actor Rob McElhenney purchased Wrexham, a Welsh soccer club, for $2.5 million. Also that year, Diageo, a beverage company, announced that it had acquired Aviation American Gin, a gin company co-owned by Mr. Reynolds, and other spirits brands in a deal for up to $610 million.

“I never dreamt I’d own a wireless company and I certainly never dreamt I’d sell it to T-Mobile,” Mr. Reynolds said on Twitter on Wednesday. “Life is strange and I’m incredibly proud and grateful.”

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Mr. Reynolds spoke about his role in the company and serving an underserved population.

“Phone service is an essential service,” he said. “A lot of people that are in my position that come from showbiz and that sort of stuff, you’re sort of looking at aspirational items. Our North Star is anti-aspiration items.”

Mr. Reynolds said he was most excited that T-Mobile could scale Mint to reach more people.

After the deal is completed, David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim, Mint’s founders, will stay onboard at T-Mobile to manage the brands, T-Mobile said.

Mr. Reynolds will continue in his creative role for the brand.

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