[SINGAPORE] Bike-sharing operator SG Bike, which is 51 per cent-owned by Catalist-listed ISOTeam, on Wednesday announced it had completed the takeover of Mobike's licence to operate 25,000 bicycles in Singapore.
The deal, which was concluded at about a third of the valuation that the two firms initially agreed on, makes SG Bike the largest bike-sharing operator in the Republic.
In an bourse filing on Monday, ISOTeam had said that SG Bike will pay an initial sum of about S$597,400 in the deal. This comprises a S$375,000 licence fee as well as some S$222,400 for the 18,000 Mobike bicycles deployed on the streets of Singapore, 7,000 bicycles stored in a warehouse and related service fees.
It could pay up to about S$214,000 more, depending on the condition of the 7,000 warehouse bicycles.
The total sum of about S$811,400 is less than a third of the S$2.54 million that SG Bike and Mobike had initially agreed on.
All existing Mobike bicycles can now be unlocked using SG Bike's mobile application. Conversely, the Mobike app can no longer be used to unlock the bikes.
During the trial period starting on Wednesday, SG Bike is offering free rides for trips under 30 minutes on Mobike-branded bicycles.
"This trial period will allow SG Bike to better manage the new resources and make any necessary adjustments to fine-tune its bike sharing services," said SG Bike in a statement, adding that the trial will end at "a later date".
SG Bike currently operates 3,000 of its own bicycles, mainly in Tampines, East Coast and Yishun.
The company told The Straits Times that it will start deploying most of Mobike's stored bikes in Punggol, before expanding to the rest of the north-east region. This will provide the area with a higher concentration of bicycles.
It also said that prices will remain unchanged with the acquisition.
A weekly pass costs S$3.90, while a 30-day ride pass costs S$11.90.
Commenting on the acquisition, chief operating officer of SG Bike Sean Tay said: "Bicycles remain the most flexible transport mode and we believe this position will allow SG Bike to accelerate the adoption of shared bicycles."
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has approved a total fleet size of 45,000 shared bicycles in Singapore.
The other operators are Anywheel and Moov Technology, both of which have licences to operate 10,000 bicycles each.
SG Bike's takeover deal was first announced in August, with the LTA giving it the green light a month later.
But completion of the deal, initially scheduled for Sept 13, was delayed several times as the firms sought to tie up loose ends.
The completed deal marks the end of an era for bike-sharing firms in Singapore.
At their peak, Mobike, along with ofo and oBike, deployed more than 100,000 shared bicycles here.
But an inability to come up with a sustainable business model, coupled with struggles in complying with regulations, have seen all three firms leave the market.
Shares of ISOTeam were trading flat at S$0.24 as at 11.32am on Wednesday, after the announcement was made.
THE STRAITS TIMES