T-Mobile US Announces New $1.4 Billion Acquisition
T-Mobile US signed an agreement to acquire Ka’ena and its subsidiaries, prepaid brand Mint Mobile, international phone service Ultra Mobile and MVNA Plum, for a maximum of $1.4 billion. The operator will pay 39% of the purchase price in cash and 61% through stock.
T-Mobile stated the final price will be based upon Ka’ena’s performance during certain periods before and after the deal closes, which T-Mobile expects later this year subject to customary conditions. A move for Mint Mobile was mooted earlier this year, with Bloomberg reporting the MVNO had long been on the block. Mint Mobile founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will join T-Mobile to manage the brands, which will generally operate as a separate business unit. Part-owner, actor Ryan Reynolds will continue to promote Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile uses T-Mobile’s network under an MVNO arrangement and MVNA Plum expanded a wholesale agreement with it in 2022. Ultra Mobile is also on the operator’s 5G network. In addition to bringing Mint Mobile subscribers in-house, the deal covers MVNO’s sales, marketing, digital, and service assets. T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert cited Mint Mobile’s successful digital direct-to-consumer business as a key draw, adding that MVNO and Ultra Mobile will in turn benefit from its scale and owner’s economics.
The operator aims to benefit from Mint Mobile’s direct-to-consumer marketing expertise, adding the acquisition will in turn enable all the Ka’ena companies to offer competitive pricing and greater device inventory to consumers seeking low-cost tariffs. Although T-Mobile topped the tables for post-paid net subscriber additions in 4Q22, it sees prepaid services as a means to bolster its overall user numbers and potentially convert more to contracts. The operator stated Mint Mobile and Ultra Mobile complement its current prepaid brands.