Scooter sharing company Bird files for bankruptcy

RENO, NEVADA, UNITED STATES - 2022/04/21: Bird scooters parked by the side of the street. Bird plans to launch 250 e-scooters this month, with its full fleet of 1,000 in place by the end of June. (Photo by Ty O'Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

RENO, NEVADA, UNITED STATES – Bird scooters parked by the side of the street in April 2022. (Photo by Ty O’Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)Ty O’Neil/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty ImagesNew YorkCNN — 

Bird, a company that operates scooter- and bicycle-sharing operations globally, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, with the aim to sell its United States operations.

The Chapter 11 filing will allow Bird, which describes itself as “the largest micromobility operator in North America,” to restructure while the company works to sell off its assets, according to an announcement.

For now, the company has entered into a “stalking horse” sale agreement with its lenders, which will establish a minimum value for Bird’s assets. A sale of those assets is expected to happen in the next three to six months, the company said.

Bird’s existing lenders will provide $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The company will continue operating as usual during the bankruptcy process, according to the announcement.

“We are making progress toward profitability and aim to accelerate that progress by right-sizing our capital structure through this restructuring,” interim CEO Michael Washinushi said in a company announcement. “We remain focused on our mission to make cities more livable by using micromobility to reduce car usage, traffic, and carbon emissions.”

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Bird was founded in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden, a former Lyft and Uber executive. He had been the company’s chief executive but left that role last year and eventually left the company altogether. The company made a strong push as a leader in what seemed like a burgeoning electric scooter market, stocking its branded scooters in numerous cities around the world.

Bird went public through a SPAC merger in 2021 but the stock price quickly plummeted. Trading in the stock was suspended on the New York Stock Exchange last September. Bird also pulled its scooters out of several countries and cities last year and laid off employeesThe company expects to complete the bankruptcy sales process within the next three to six months.

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The bankruptcy filing does not involve Bird Canada or Bird Europe, the company said. A company spokesperson declined to provide the number of US cities in which Bird currently has vehicles but the company says it operates in 350 cities worldwide.

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