Ryan Reynolds could get $800 million stake in mobile phone company

Ryan Reynolds could get $800 million stake in mobile phone company

While Scarlett Johansson tussles with Disney over her Black Widow compensation, claiming she was paid $50 million, her ex Ryan Reynolds could be prepping for a windfall in the hundreds of millions.

The Canadian-born Deadpool actor — who divorced Blake Lively a decade ago – married Johansson the following year. In late 2019 Reynolds also secured a tie-up with Mint Mobile, snagging a stake in the prepaid mobile provider even as he became his pitchman.

Reynolds got to work soon, pushing the service to his 38 million Twitter followers and 17,7 million Instagram followers. According to a source, the 44 - year old star had a solid motivation source: His Mint stake is estimated between 20 and 25 percent of the company, according to the source.

Mint is shopping itself and could sell for as much as $600 million to $800 million, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. Altice USA, which owns cable, phone, internet, and wireless services, is said to be the lead purchaser, although it's unclear whether it will end up closing a deal or not.

Altice USA has been making mobile phones a focus for the last few years — switching their mobile service provider from Altice Mobile to Optimum Mobile. In Thursday's second quarter earnings call, CEO Dexter Goei said mobile would continue to be the focus for the company. We'll be looking at getting aggressive on the mobile side, Goei added.

Altice declined to comment. Bank of America declined to make any comment. Mint was responding to a request for comment. A Reynolds rep wasn't immediately able to comment.

Mint is a mobile virtual network operator, meaning the company piggybacks on another network in this case T-Mobile — in this case Mint — to provide services to customers. It was started by California in 2016; it started from California.

It is unclear how much Mint has expanded since Reynolds came on board but a previous report suggests within November 2017 and November 2020 the company had increased revenue 50,000 percent.

Celebrities typically invest in high-end products like skincare brands or sly gin companies, Reynolds said, while making a reference to his previous venture, Aviation Gin. Investors might take heed. Aviation Gin was sold to Reynolds for $610 million in August last year.