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in press release Bird confirmed today that it has entered into a “financial restructuring process aimed at strengthening its balance sheet,” with the company continuing to operate as usual in pursuit of “long-term sustainable growth.”
Founded in 2017 by former Lyft and Uber CEO Travis VanderZanden, Bird is one of many startups offering dockless micromobility platforms around the world, allowing city dwellers to pay for short-term access to electric scooters or… Bicycles. The company went public in late 2021 through a SPAC merger, but in a crowded market built on questionable economics, its stock has permanently tanked, with its market capitalization falling from more than $2 billion at its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). To only $70 million After 12 months. This decline led the New York Stock Exchange to issue a warning that Baird’s stock price was too low.
Things didn’t improve, and with its stock price continuing to decline, CEO VanderZanden eventually left in June along with the company. Delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in September.
Separately, Bird also announced a round of layoffs shortly after purchasing rival Spin for $19 million.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy will enable Baird to restructure its financials without disrupting day-to-day operations, with Apollo Global Management’s MidCap Financial division among existing lenders providing $25 million in financing through the bankruptcy proceedings.
The ultimate goal is to sell Bird’s assets, through a so-called “stalking horse” agreement that begins a bidding process designed to extract as much value as possible from Bird, with its lenders setting a baseline bid before opening things up to outside suitors. During the next four months.
Interim CEO Michael Washinouchi will continue in his position before and after the restructuring, according to the statement.
“This announcement represents a major milestone in Baird’s transformation, which began with the appointment of new leadership early this year,” Washinouchi said. “We are making progress toward profitability and aim to accelerate that progress by right sizing our capital structure through this restructuring. We remain focused on our mission of making cities more livable by using micromobility to reduce car use and traffic.” And carbon emissions.
It’s also worth noting that Baird’s Canadian and European operations are not part of this bankruptcy filing, and will “continue to operate as usual,” the company said.
This latest news comes just one day after competitor Micromobility.com was delisted from the Nasdaq due to its stock price failing, and three years after it also went public via a SPAC merger. In Europe, dockless scooter startup Tier has laid off 22% of its workforce, following the bankruptcy proceedings of Dutch e-bike startup VanMoof.
Overall, it’s not been a great year for the micromobility world.
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