BM Mobility makes $284k offer for UNiRide

S'pore-listed firm eyeing electric car-sharing business in Malaysia

Investment holding firm BM Mobility - formerly called Ziwo Holdings - is getting into the electric car-sharing business in Malaysia, it announced yesterday.

The mainboard-listed company has made a RM850,000 (S$284,000) offer to acquire a majority stake in UNiRide Ecotour. The deal would also give BM Mobility the Malaysian dealership rights for the car-sharing business, which targets the country's public universities.

This is the first deal BM Mobility has announced since its Jan 2 extraordinary general meeting, when it changed its name and shareholders voted in support of a core business focus on Chinese and South-east Asian green energy.

Mr Tay Wee Kwang, BM Mobility's chief executive-designate, said in a statement: "We are going full steam ahead with our green-energy plans, now that shareholders have given us their blessing to pursue this business. UNiRide will be a key growth catalyst for us in Malaysia as we expand our portfolio of green-energy projects in Asia."

The board said in its Singapore Exchange filing that the proposed acquisition "further serves as a strategic platform... to scale up vehicle rental business by introducing electric scooters and reaching out to more universities in Malaysia".

The acquisition involves BM Mobility's 65 per cent-owned subsidiary, Estar Investments, buying 95.55 per cent of Wanted Marketing Communications.

Wanted Marketing owns 75 per cent of UNiRide and is the authorised sales agent for electric bike manufacturer Treeletrik.

The proposed acquisition is expected to be finalised by Jan 31.

The price tag is more than the company's paid-up share capital of RM625,000 and net tangible assets of RM400,000, but the BM Mobility board said it believes the premium paid is "reasonable" and "in the interest of the company".

It added that it has taken into account the "synergistic value that the group expects to enjoy", such as the relationship with Treeletrik, and the "strategic business opportunities in the car-sharing programme which the group may partake through UNiRide".

UNiRide has been tapped to run a fleet of energy-efficient Perodua vehicles for staff and students at four of Malaysia's 20 public universities.

Automobile manufacturer Perodua is among UNiRide's state-linked strategic partners, alongside oil company Petronas and telco Celcom Axiata. BM Mobility intends to expand the UNiRide fleet with e-scooters from its unit Estar Investments, which sells such scooters to commercial users in Malaysia. It also aims to find more Malaysian university partners.

CMS Consortium Ecotour holds the remaining 25 per cent interest in UNiRide.

BM Mobility shares closed up 6.7 per cent at 3.2 cents yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'BM Mobility makes $284k offer for UNiRide'. Print Edition | Subscribe