Electric scooter company Bird files for bankruptcy

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A banner for electric scooter rental company Bird is displayed outside of the New York Stock Exchange as the company goes public via a SPAC on Nov. 5, 2021.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The electric scooter company Bird, once valued at $2.5 billion by investors, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Florida federal court Wednesday.

The company has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement, which sets a floor for Bird’s value, with its existing lenders, according to a release. Bird said it will use the bankruptcy proceeding to facilitate a sale of its assets, which it expects to complete within the next 90 to 120 days.

Bird’s electric scooters are touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to driving and other forms of public transit. They exploded in popularity before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company raised more than $275 million in 2019, which pushed its valuation to $2.5 billion.

But after customers stopped riding as they were forced into lockdown in 2020, Bird struggled to recover. The company went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in 2021, but its share price tumbled.

Bird’s bankruptcy proceedings come after the New York Stock Exchange delisted the company in September. Bird failed to comply with the exchange’s requirements after it was unable to keep its market capitalization above $15 million for 30 consecutive days.

The company’s shares began trading on the over-the-counter exchange later that month. As of Wednesday, the stock was trading at less than $1 per share.

Bird Canada and Bird Europe are not part of the company’s Wednesday filing and will “continue to operate as normal,” according to the release.

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