Meituan acquisition of Mobike seems a done deal

Last night (03 Apr 2018), Mobike shareholder meeting voted in favor of the Meituan acquisition, The Beijing News has reported (in Chinese). The Chinese group buying site Meituan agrees to acquire the bike rental company Mobike for 35% in equity and 65% in cash, of which $320 million will be used for future liquidity needs. Details revealed A- and B-round investors and the Mobike founding team is exiting the company with $750 million in cash. A source at Meituan has confirmed the purchase to TechNode. According to the Beijing News, some founding team members did not want to sell and were forced to leave the company.

Screenshot of Hu Weiwei’s WeChat post

In a WeChat post, Hu Weiwei, Mobike’s co-founder and president, wrote: “There is no such thing as being ‘voted out,’ from my perspective everything is a new beginning.”

Yesterday, rumors and unconfirmed details about Meituan acquiring Mobike for $3.7 billion were circulating on Chinese social media. Later in the evening, local media reported that Meituan was in talks with Mobike to buy a large share of the bike-rental business. However, the Mobike team denied the validity of the rumor (in Chinese) in the media chat group.

Meituan CEO Wang Xing released an internal statement today (04 Apr) confirming the Mobike acquisition. Wang added that Mobike will maintain an independent brand and will continue to operate independently.

A joint statement from Meituan and Mobike

Later in the day, the two released a joint statement to officially announced the Mobike acquisition. Mobike CEO Wang Xiaofeng said in the statement that the two companies share the same vision of promoting a healthy lifestyle. “In the future, Mobike and Meituan will continue to focus on creating user value and experiences that surprise the users.” According to the statement, Wang Xing is named the new chairman of the Mobike, but there will be no other change to the company’s management team — Wang Xiaofeng will remain CEO of the company and Hu Weiwei, the President.

It is worth noting that Didi and Softbank intended to become a shareholder in Mobike but the deal eventually fell through. Meituan recently entered the ride-hailing ring and become a fierce rival to Didi, whether the bike-rental business is the extension of the ride-hailing war it is much speculated about.

Update 04 April 12:30 pm: Now includes confirmation from Meituan CEO Wang Xing.

Update 04 April 2:40 pm: Now includes the official statement from Meituan and Mobike.