Sherpa Capital, a private equity fund manager with €300min assets under management focused on investing in medium-sized companies, has announced the acquisition of a stake in Spanish company CityBike, which was created in 2014 by the Moventia Group and is one of the leaders in the European micromobility market, with a special focus on the operation of public bicycle systems.
Sherpa Capital’s investment in CityBike will further strength the company and accelerate even more rapidly the growth of its international business via the implementation of shared bicycle systems in new cities.
This is the third transaction from the Sherpa Capital Private Equity fund (the third vehicle of the firm after Sherpa Capital I and II), which held a final close of €150m in 2018. While Sherpa Capital I and II pursue a special situations strategy, the Sherpa Capital private Equity fund is focused on the acquisition of stakes, usually majorities, in profitable growth companies of small and medium size with EBITDA between 2 and 8 million euros.
CityBike was founded in 2014 as the micro-mobility division of the Moventia Group, one of the national leaders in the transport sector, by winning the operation of Helsinki's public bicycle system. Sincethen, CityBike has consolidated its position as one of the European references in this field, operating three other concessions in Finland and Peru.
CityBike stands out for its unique proposal in the European market as an independent bicycle-sharing operator, its excellent track record in the concessionaires it operates, as well as a network of technological and commercial partners that allow it to offer a unique and adaptable solution to the mobility needs of cities. This value proposal is supported by an excellent team of people led by Mr. Jordi Cabañas, General Manager of the Company since its foundation and previously Director of the SmartBikes area of one of the historic leading companies in the bicycle-sharing segment.
At a sectoral level, public and shared bicycles offer an environmentally friendly urban mobility alternative that makes it possible to reduce traffic congestion in cities. This interest in bicycle sharing has now been accentuated by the search for non-massive ecological mobility solutions and alternatives to traditional private and public transport derived from the COVID-19 situation. All of this, together with the attractiveness of the CityBike proposal, means that it has significant growth prospects.
Mr. Lars Becker, partner at Sherpa Capital, said: "Our investment in CityBike will provide the company with resources to execute its expansion plan and, additionally, will serve to support the management team organizationally with a focus on business development and business scalability. Through out this process we will also count with the extensive experience of Moventia, which will continue to support the development of CityBike".
Jordi Cabañas, General Director of Moventia's public bicycle division CityBike, stated: "Sherpa's arrival in our company consolidates our international growth project and leaves us in an excellent position to implement a large number of shared bicycle systems in cities in Europe and Latin America".
Miquel Martí Pierre, Director of Expansion of Moventia, expressed: “It is a satisfaction for Moventia to have the opportunity to continue growing in one of our strategic divisions such as the public bicycle, now together with Sherpa Capital. This is an opportunity for the group to consolidate the work and the investment that we have been making over the last 10 years in the micro-mobility sector, which is key for any city and country that makes clear commitments to sustainable mobility that complement current models".
Arcano and Scala Legal acted as financial and legal advisors to Moventia-CityBike. Sherpa Capital was advised by DLA Piper and KPMG on the legal and financial aspects.
About Sherpa Capital:
- Sherpa Capital is the leading private equity fund manager in Spain and Portugal for investments in mid-sized companies seeking new challenges. It currently manages more than 300 million euros through Special Situations and Private Equity funds.
- Founded in 2014 and head quartered in Barcelona (Spain),CityBike is a leading operator of bicycle systems in Europe, where it currently has three concessions, and in Latin America, where it has a presence in onecity.
- Founded in 1923 in Barcelona (Spain), Moventia is company specialised in sustainable mobility through its two divisions: Movento, focused on private mobility with the commercialisation and and repairment of vehicles through the official dealerships of 17 recognised brands; and Moventis, a leaderin public mobility with urban, interurban and occasional transport services,which is already present in 5 countries, thanks also to its commitment to the public bicycle service. It has a fleet of 1,300 buses and 40 trams in operation, and trades 27,000 new and used vehicles. All this is possible thanks to its 4,000 employees.