Chinese bike-sharing startup Ofo is close to being acquired by its investor and ride-hailing major Didi Chuxing, according to a report by Kr36.
However, the two parties are yet to agree on a price, the report added.
Didi Chuxing founder Cheng Wei has reportedly mentioned a $1.5-billion price tag — almost half of the $2.7 billion Meituan Dianping paid for Ofo rival Mobike — while Ofo founder Dai Wei is angling for a higher price.
The report added that DiDi is lowering the price it is willing to pay with every round of negotiation. Both Ofo and Didi Chuxing declined to comment for the report. Alibaba’s fintech unit, Ant Financial, was also said to be in talks to acquire Ofo, but it was willing to shell out a lower price than DiDi.
Earlier this month, Ofo started winding down its overseas operations. It has pulled out of India, Australia, Israel and other markets to focus more on the domestic market. It is also pulling out of the US after entering the market less than a year ago.
Ofo, however, says it plans to retain its operations in London, Paris and Milan as well as Singapore. It is in the midst of applying for a bike-share operating licence to operate in Singapore.
In April, it was also rumoured to be in talks to take over rival GoBee but a deal never materialised.
If the deal with DiDi goes through, this will be the second bike-sharing company acquired by the ride-hailing major after Bluegogo this January.
Several bike-sharing startups such as Coolqi and Mingbike collapsed last year due to fierce competition, while Shanghai-listed Changzhou Youon Public Bicycle System merged with Hellobike to jointly face other competitors.
Founded in 2014, Ofo has raised $2.2 billion so far, from investors including internet giant Alibaba and Sequoia Capital.