Is T-Mobile considering an acquisition of Mint Mobile, the budget-focused MVNO backed by actor Ryan Reynolds?
According to Bloomberg, T-Mobile has been in talks with Mint Mobile about a potential deal.
The report cites people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.
Bloomberg noted that no final decision has been made and Mint could decide to remain independent or sell to another party.
T-Mobile did not comment. A Mint Mobile spokesperson said the company had no comment on speculation.
It’s not the first rumor of a potential Mint acquisition. In 2021, the New York Post reported that Reynolds was poised to reap a windfall from his stake in Mint Mobile, estimated to be between 20% and 25%.
At that time, a sale price of anywhere from $600 million to $800 million was bantered about, with cable company Altice USA as the lead buyer. That never transpired, with some saying the price was too high.
“They had really lofty expectations,” said Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner.
Mint uses T-Mobile’s network under an MVNO arrangement where Mint is considered a wholesale customer. That might make it easier to strike a deal because T-Mobile can then bring it in-house and increase its profitability, according to Entner.
“The attractiveness of them being bought by their host network operator might be higher,” he said.
Mint plays with ChatGPT
Earlier this week, Mint Mobile’s PR team was plugging a new spot by Reynolds in which he talks about a script written completely via ChatGPT technology. In the spot, Reynolds said he asked the AI-powered text engine to use a joke, a curse word and let people know that Mint’s holiday promotion is still going.
Mint Chief Marketing Officer Aron North told Fierce via email that Reynolds asked ChatGPT to write the script exactly how he explained it in the commercial.
ChatGPT has been on Mint’s radar since it launched and once they got a chance to play with it, “the ad wrote itself, literally,” he said.
Mint’s promotion, which includes three months free with a three-month plan, runs through January 15. Noting that “Big Wireless” firms turn their promotions off after the holidays, North said Mint always runs its promotions into the new year because it’s a time when people are looking to save money.
Mint was the first MVNO to launch eSIM, and it’s been a game changer, North said. The company doesn’t disclose the number of subscribers it serves, but it has seen high adoption rates and “incredibly high customer satisfaction” with its fully digital sales and activation channels, he said.
Mint’s subscribers are split about 50/50 between Apple iOS and Android users.
Asked about the competitive environment, North said wireless is always a hyper-competitive sector.
“Mint continues to be a great alternative to Verizon and AT&T (our primary competitor),” he said. As a team, they’re certainly keeping an eye on the cable companies. However, cable appears to be largely targeting their own cable subscribers with mobile offers vs. competing in the open marketplace. “That will certainly change over time,” he said.