Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Thursday acquired 36.63 per cent stake in cab-operator Meru in an all-cash deal for Rs 44.71 crore, in its bid to tap the growing shared mobility space.
The utility vehicle makers plans to acquire 55 per cent stake in multiple tranches and the investment gives it the right to appoint majority of directors on Meru’s board. On August 31, M&M had said it would buy up to 55 per cent stake in tranches.
With this first tranche of investment, Meru and its allied companies have become subsidiaries of M&M. M&M had said in August that it would invest an amount not exceeding Rs 201 crore in Meru. The company will spend Rs 103 crore in acquiring 55 per cent stake, while the balance amount of Rs 98 crore will be used to acquire additional stake from other investors.
The Meru acquisition is the latest in a string of investments made by M&M in the shared mobility and ride-hailing operators. The corporate shared mobility space is an area of strategic interest to the company, M&M said.
M&M has made investments in self-drive car rental company Zoomcar. in addition to running its own e-mobility company Mahindra Glyd with e-Verito cars. With the Meru acquisition, M&M is now competing with Ola and Uber, but it has earlier helped both the cab-aggregators run a fleet of electric cars.
Meru started operations in December 2006 much before the arrival of Ola and Uber. —FE
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