In an unexpected development, the agreement for global transit technology business Swvl to acquire London-based smart coach and bus travel platform Zeelo has been terminated.
The transaction – described at the outset by Swvl as “a definitive agreement” – was announced on 28 April with an expected conclusion date of 24 May. However, on 29 July, Zeelo instead said that while all pre-completion obligations had been met, financial market volatility has since led the two parties to mutually agree to terminate the deal.
Zeelo adds that it will now continue to focus on a profitable increase of business in markets including the UK, South Africa and the United States to provide “sustainable rides” for commuters and students. Zeelo has seen 1,000% growth since the start of 2020 and currently transports over 150,000 passenger each month by serving over 150 clients, it says.
When the proposed purchase by Swvl was announced, Zeelo Co-Founder and CEO Sam Ryan told its operator partners that business would continue as usual under the new owner.
Swvl added concurrently that the two businesses were “in alignment,” including the work underway by Zeelo to ensure that only zero-emission vehicles are used on its behalf in developed markets by 2030.
On 30 May, Dubai-headquartered Swvl announced “portfolio optimisation” plans to “accelerate its path to profitability” and become cash flow positive in 2023. Part of that work is to reduce the business’s costs, with Swvl’s headcount to be reduced by approximately 32%.