Stupid sexy Ryan Reynolds just sold his cell phone business for $2 billion

You gotta hate this guy. As if being a Hollywood movie star, fashion icon, and football team owner wasn’t enough, Ryan Reynolds has sold one of his entrepreneurial ventures for a few hundred million dollars…again. New reports from the US have confirmed that telecoms giant T-Mobile is acquiring Mint Mobile, the low-cost wireless operator partly owned by Reynolds, for a staggering US$1.35 billion (AUD$2.04 billion). It comes just two years after he sold his spirits company Aviation Gin to spirits company Diageo for an estimated A$920 million.

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According to an official statement from T-Mobile, the service provider has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Mint Mobile’s parent company, Ka’ena Corporation, which also controls Ultra Mobile and wholesaler Plum. Through the monumental move, T-Mobile is now taking on the brands’ “sales, marketing, digital and service operations” valued at up to $1.35 billion.

According to T-Mobile, that purchase figure will be a combination of 39 percent cash and 61 percent stock, but the actual price will be based on Ka’ena’s performance in specific periods before and after closing. It is also subject to working capital adjustments and other contractual provisions. Importantly, it chalks up another massive W in the investing column from Ryan Reynolds, partner and creative lead at Mint Mobile.

“Mint Mobile is the best wireless offering, and today’s news only enhances our ability to deliver for our customers,” said Reynolds. “We are so fortunate that T-Mobile has beaten an aggressive last minute offer from my mother Tammy Reynolds as we believe the excellence of her 5G network will provide a better strategic fit than my mother’s slightly above average mahjong skills . I’m so proud of the entire Mint team and so excited for what’s to come.”

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Ryan Reynolds on the red carpet for “Red Notice” (2021) | Image: Netflix

Since 2016, Reynolds has done double duty for Mint Mobile, not only acting as a partner but also starring in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) prepaid wireless brand’s marketing and advertising campaigns, which is hardly a surprise. It’s always an advantage to have a celebrity on hand to add some much-needed star power, but one who owns his own advertising agency, like Reynolds does with maximum effort, is quite another matter.

In a subsequent video announcing the deal, Mint Mobile revealed that founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will remain at T-Mobile to manage the brands, while Ryan Reynolds will continue in his creative role. Remarkably, it’s a familiar scenario for the Deadpool star.

Ryan Reynolds with his Aviation Gin brand | Image: Aviation Gin

In August 2020, Diageo, the world’s largest spirits and beer maker, acquired Aviation Gin, a Portland-based gin brand co-owned by Reynolds. The deal was reportedly valued at up to US$610 million (AU$920 million) depending on performance over the next 10 years, with Reynolds retaining an “ongoing interest” in the brand.

“I became the owner of Aviation Gin a little over two years ago 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 of learning about a new industry. Growing the brand with my company, Maximum Effort Marketing, is one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved with. I want to thank Diageo for their incredible team and passion. We are so excited for the next chapter of Aviation Gin which I promise will require just as little reading.”

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With two massive sales under his belt and Wrexham AFC, the Welsh football team he co-owns with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney, whose market value is steadily increasing, 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 $1 billion, including $700 million upfront and an additional $300 million based on performance.

For years it was considered the ultimate celebrity side hustle, but with the sale of Mint Mobile and Aviation Gin, which dominated the spirits market, Van Wilder has finally taken on the elite sport.

But hey, Clooney has won two Oscars, so… take that Reynolds.

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries from Queensland University of Technology, with two majors in Journalism and Music. Prior to Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist at Inside Franchise Business, where he focused on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021 Nick was recognized by B&T as Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specializes in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men’s stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.