World Economy

China Firms Weigh Joint $2b Ofo Buyout

China Firms Weigh Joint $2b Ofo BuyoutChina Firms Weigh Joint $2b Ofo Buyout

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and Alibaba’s Ant Financial are in talks with bike-sharing startup Ofo for a joint buyout offer that could value Ofo at up to $2 billion, according to a source with direct knowledge of the discussions. A deal would mark the latest stage of consolidation in China’s once-booming bike-sharing industry, where a series of startups have burned through hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight to dominate key cities, littering the streets with thousands of bikes in the process, Reuters reported. It would bring Alibaba-backed Ofo even deeper into the e-commerce giant’s orbit, just months after Ofo rival Mobike was snapped up in a $2.7 billion deal by Meituan-Dianping, the on-demand online service provider with links to Tencent, a backer of Mobike. Didi, which already owns a stake in Ofo, has hired a third-party agency to conduct due diligence on the startup’s business and finances, the source said. The offer may be lowered or even dropped if Ofo’s business turns out to be worse than expected after the due diligence is completed, the source said.

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