The BIXI concept was sold for 215 million

Acquired for $4 million following the BIXI debacle in 2014, the international operator of the bike-sharing concept’s technology was eventually sold to Lyft for $215 million seven years later.

Posted at 6:45am

Richard Dufour

Richard Dufour
The press

Julian Arsenal

Julian Arsenal
The press

The Californian’s acquisition of the Longueuiler company PBSC Urban Solutions was announced last April, but its value had previously remained secret. Lyft just announced the $163.5 million purchase price when it released its latest earnings results this summer.

The value of the transaction is considered “intangible” to Lyft and was therefore treated as general and administrative expenses in the second-quarter financial statements.

PBSC Urban Solutions was originally formed in Montreal in 2008 under the name Société de vélo en libre-service to operate BIXI. The bike-sharing system took off the following year in Montreal with 3,000 bikes and 300 stations.

However, financial problems caused the company to restructure in 2014 before changing its name to PBSC. Keep in mind that BIXI Montréal, a non-profit organization, remains a separate entity from PBSC. BIXI Montréal has the sole mandate to manage the bike sharing system in the city.

“A Whole Thing”

PBSC Urban Solutions big boss Luc Sabbatini declined to comment Monday. Luc Sabbatini became CEO in 2015 after buying a majority stake from businessman Bruno Rodi. The latter had previously acquired the company’s assets from an insolvency practitioner for 4 million.

Louis Hébert, professor of strategy at HEC Montreal, reads Lyft’s financial statements and believes Luc Sabbatini did “a big deal.” This was sold at the right time, according to the expert.

He has expanded the formula to several countries and that has created value. That would partly explain the price. It was also a question of timed coordination. At the time of sale, the markets for this type of asset [la mobilité urbaine] were exuberant. We were able to sell at a very high price.

Louis Hébert, Professor of Strategy at HEC Montréal

PBSC Urban Solutions is considered a pioneer in the micro-mobility industry and offers its users four bike models, including an electric one. In addition to Montreal, the company’s services were used in particular in Barcelona, ​​​​​​São Paulo and in the Principality of Monaco.

Its activities are supported by more than 95,000 bikes and 7,500 stations in around fifty cities in 15 countries. Management says its users have made more than 500 million trips around the city since it went live 13 years ago. PBSC had around 100 employees when the transaction was announced in the spring.

PBSC Urban Solutions isn’t Lyft’s first acquisition in the on-demand mobility space. In 2018, Lyft bought Motivate in a deal worth $250 million.

Founded in 2012, Lyft specializes in ridesharing, vehicle rentals, electric scooters, bicycles, and meal delivery services. Uber’s biggest competitor reported nearly $1 billion in revenue and a $377 million net loss last quarter.

Lyft made the leap to the NASDAQ in spring 2019. The stock was worth nearly $90 at the time. The stock closed the first session of the week at $16. The current stock price gives Lyft a market value of nearly $6 billion.

Lyft has not responded to messages left by The press Search for details of the transaction.

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