What happened: Citing an email sent from Mobike to investors, The Telegraph reported that the company’s European arm is in the final stages of a management buyout from Meituan-Dianping, the bike-rental startup’s Chinese owner. Regional General Manager of Mobike Europe Paul Zhu and other senior executives are leading the initiative, sources said. While it has not yet been confirmed, the sale is expected to be worth $100 million. Mobike Europe is also reportedly planning on branching out into e-bike and scooter rentals in the region. Meituan is expected to keep a stake in the company after the sale.
Why it’s important: Talk of a sale for Mobike Europe has been circulating since December, as the company faced an investigation for a possible violation of European data protection regulations. In addition, since its acquisition by lifestyle services hub Meituan-Dianping in May, Mobike has reduced its international presence in accordance with its parent company’s core market. In March it announced it would withdraw from some of its Asia-Pacific markets, including India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. The company faces the same loss-making conundrum as fellow bike-rental companies, which analysts at Tonghai Securities predict will last through 2021.