Swvl buys Turkish transit firm Volt Lines in latest deal spree
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Swvl buys Turkish transit firm Volt Lines in latest deal spree

Swvl buys Turkish transit firm Volt Lines in latest deal spree

Volt Lines serves customers and corporate clients in Turkey with an alternative to public transportation and personal ride-hailing services

Swvl

Swvl Holdings Corp., a Dubai-based ride sharing startup, has agreed to acquire the Turkish transportation-as-a-service operator Volt Lines in its fourth acquisition since August.

The sale values Volt Lines at $40m with an additional $25m in funding committed to grow in the region, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public.

The transaction is expected to close this quarter, according to a statement provided to Bloomberg News. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

The deal furthers what Swvl chief financial officer Youssef Salem has said is a plan “to rapidly pursue strategic initiatives to further enhance shareholder value.”

Last month, Swvl purchased Berlin-based mobility startup Door2door. In November, it bought the mass transit company ViaPool to expand its presence in Latin America. And in August, Swvl acquired Shotl, an on-demand ride service that uses shuttle buses.

Read: Dubai’s Swvl to enter Europe, APAC and LATAM via Shotl acquisition

Founded in 2018 by Ali Halabi, Volt Lines serves customers and corporate clients in Turkey with an alternative to public transportation and personal ride-hailing services. Volt Lines uses shared buses used by more than 110 companies in the region. As part of the deal with Swvl, Halabi will stay on to lead the Turkish unit.

“When we launched Volt Lines four years ago, we set out to deliver a revolutionary transit experience to make commuting more reliable and affordable in Istanbul,” Halabi said. “We’re also excited about scaling our R&D center in Istanbul into a global technology hub, giving Swvl a reliable access to Turkey’s technical talent.”

Swvl was co-founded by Mostafa Kandil, a former Rocket Internet executive who also worked with Careem, which is now owned by Uber Technologies. The ride-sharing startup made its debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market on April 1 after merging with blank-check company Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital.

Despite a one-day surge that triggered five trading halts, Swvl’s shares have fallen by about a third since that debut, giving the company a market value of $769m.

Swvl’s Salem expects reduced volatility in the trading as shares from the $111.5m private investment in public equity, or PIPE, that helped finance the merger, are added to the outstanding shares.

“In the next few weeks and months as the PIPE gets registered and then the lockup for existing shareholders starts to get released, we expect the overall float of the company to be larger,” Salem said in an interview. “And hence we expect less volatility, less speculation and less ability for people to move the price.”

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