You’ve got to hate this guy. As if being a Hollywood movie star, fashion icon, football team-owning A-lister wasn’t enough, Ryan Reynolds has sold one of his entrepreneurial endeavours for a couple of hundred million dollars…again. New reports out of the US have confirmed that telecommunications giant T-Mobile is acquiring Mint Mobile, the budget wireless provider part-owned by Reynolds, for a staggering USD$1.35 billion (AUD$2.04 billion). It comes just two years after he sold his liquor enterprise Aviation Gin to spirits company Diageo for an estimated AUD$920 million.
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According to an official statement from T-Mobile, the service provider has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mint Mobile parent company Ka’ena Corporation, which also controls Ultra Mobile and wholesaler Plum. The monumental move will now see T-Mobile take over the brands’ ‘sales, marketing, digital, and service operations’ in a deal worth up to a maximum of USD$1.35 billion.
As per T-Mobile, that purchase figure will be made up of a combination of 39 per cent cash and 61 per cent stock, however, the actual price will be based on Ka’ena’s performance during certain periods before and after the closing. It is also subject to working capital adjustments and other contractual reserves. Importantly, it chalks up another massive W in Mint Mobile part-owner and creative lead Ryan Reynolds’ investment column.
“Mint Mobile is the best deal in wireless and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers,” Reynolds said. “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.”
Since 2016, Reynolds has pulled double duty for Mint Mobile, acting not only as part-owner but also starring in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) prepaid wireless brand’s marketing and advertising campaigns, which is hardly a surprise. Having a celebrity on hand to add some much-needed star power is always a benefit, but one that owns his own advertising agency, as Reynolds does with Maximum Effort, is something else entirely.
In a subsequent video announcing the deal, Mint Mobile revealed that founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will remain onboard at T-Mobile to manage the brands, while Ryan Reynolds will continue on in his creative role. Remarkably, it’s a familiar scenario for the Deadpool star.
In August 2020, Diageo, the world’s largest spirits and beer producer acquired Aviation Gin, a Portland-based gin brand co-owned by Reynolds. The deal was reportedly worth up to USD$610 million (AUD$920 million), subject to performance over the next 10 years, with Reynolds retaining an “ongoing stake” in the brand.
“A little over two years ago, I became an owner of Aviation Gin because I love the taste of Aviation more than any other spirit,” Reynolds wrote at the time. “What I didn’t expect was the sheer creative joy learning a new industry would bring. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, has been among the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with. I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We’re so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin, which, I promise, will require just as little reading.”
With two massive sales now under his belt and Wrexham AFC, the Welsh football team he co-owns with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney steadily growing in market value, Reynolds has finally crossed the Clooney threshold. In 2017, George Clooney sold Casamigos, the tequila brand he co-owns with two friends, to Diageo for USD$1 billion, including $700 million upfront and an additional $300 million depending on performance.
For years it stood as the ultimate celebrity side hustle, but with Mint Mobile sold and Aviation Gin dominating the liquor market, Van Wilder has finally taken top sport.
But hey, Clooney’s won two Oscars, so…take that Reynolds.