Ofo dispelled rumors on July 30 that its negotiation with DiDi Chuxing is soon to come to a close.
A report originally appearing on Chinese tech media 36Kr writes that ofo and one of its largest shareholders, Didi Chuxing, met numerous times in July for the acquisition of the bike-sharing company and that the negotiations are finally coming to an end.
The report also mentioned that Didi is only willing to pay $1.5 billion, half of the price Meituan-Dianping paid for Mobike, the other bike-sharing giant and ofo’s long-standing rival, back in early April.
This is apparently far below what ofo co-founder and CEO Dai Wei had in mind, according to a person close to the matter. The insider also disclosed that another one of ofo’s investors, Ant Financial, had given an even lower offer.
Ofo released a statement saying that what has been reported are untrue, and Didi declined to comment.
Ofo has been reportedly cutting down on its operations and personnel. In the last two weeks, ofo shut down its operations in many U.S. cities and in Spain after they withdrew from Australia and Germany. It was also reported that due to a shortage of cash, the Beijing-based bike-sharing company might have allocated as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) of user deposits.
Ofo had already rejected an earlier acquisition offer from Didi in May. It was reported then that its CEO Dai Wei called on ofo employees to “flight until the end”.
Sales or bankruptcies of all other bike-sharing companies have left ofo as the only independent runner in the bike-sharing business in China.
Below is a translated version of the full statement by ofo:
We found many media outlets reporting on “the end of the negotation between ofo and Didi”. We hereby solemnly declare that all information reported in these articles are untrue.
As a leader of the bike-sharing industry and the only independent bike-sharing company, ofo has always led the industry in exploring the future development path. We will continue to uphold the “customer first” core value, wholeheartedly serve our customers, and continue to put in our efforts to help solve problems such as congestion in the city and air pollution.