Rejected Micromobility Acquisition, McLaren’s Intent to Acquire Vanmoof

According to reports, Vanmoof has rejected the acquisition proposed by Micromobility and is instead negotiating with McLaren subsidiary Lavoie for the acquisition deal.

On July 18th, the Amsterdam Court lifted the suspension of payment proceedings against the Dutch legal entities Van Moof Global Holding BV, Van Moof BV, and Van Moof Global Support BV, declaring these entities bankrupt on July 17th.

Following the bankruptcy announcement, electric vehicle leasing and sales company submitted a non-binding offer to acquire the electric bicycle brand VanMoof. However, this offer was gracefully declined by Vanmoof, leading Micromobility to formally exit the competition to acquire Vanmoof. Salvator Palella, CEO of Micromobility, tweeted, “Unfortunately, our offer for Vanmoof has not been accepted by the trustees as consumer protection and saving jobs are the top priorities. Vanmoof has chosen to negotiate with another party.” He also mentioned that Vanmoof had entered bankruptcy proceedings in Germany, but he might attempt to acquire VanMoof’s assets from bankruptcy courts in other countries.

Earlier reports indicated involvement of Trek and Giant in the acquisition process. Jan Padberg, VanMoof’s bankruptcy administrator, stated that he cannot provide specifics on the bidders, but mentioned, “We still have companies from various quarters bidding for the assets.” There were also reports suggesting that the Carlier brothers, the founders of VanMoof, might be seeking new investments to restart the business.

Recent reports indicate that McLaren’s electric scooter company Lavoie, which is a part of McLaren Applied, is now in advanced negotiations to acquire VanMoof. The talks are said to be in the “late stages.”

Despite its bankruptcy, VanMoof retains significant value, including a second-hand market for refurbished VanMoof bikes, brand loyalty programs offering trade-in discounts for new bikes, storing unsold VanMoof e-bikes for service purposes, and more. A UK-based retrofit kit brand has shown interest in VanMoof, as the company can strip and replace electronic components on vehicles. The pool of unsold or pending-repair VanMoof bicycles represents a valuable resource.

With over 200,000 units sold, VanMoof’s high sales volume is one of the reasons attracting investors. Investment firms poured a total of $180 million into this electric bicycle innovation company over the past few years. Ultimately, high costs for maintenance and repair when bicycles experienced issues led to the company’s closure. VanMoof’s e-bikes are known for highly integrated proprietary technology, including vehicle components and specialized innovation. An acquisition of the brand could enable the reuse of these resources.

Although Lavoie’s electric scooter has only been on the market for a short time, it is also a premium electric mobility brand. Lavoie stated that the VanMoof brand aligns well with Lavoie’s premium brand strategy, and acquiring VanMoof could accelerate Lavoie’s participation in the rapidly growing global micro-mobility market.

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