Harley-Davidson spins off LiveWire in $1.8 billion SPAC merger

Harley Davidson presents its first electric motorcycle at the CES technology fair. The LiveWire model goes from zero to 60 miles per hour (96.5 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and is available from just under $30,000 (just over €26,000).

Andrei Sokolow | Image Alliance | Getty Images

Harley-Davidson Inc on Tuesday spun off its electric motorcycle division, LiveWire, in a SPAC deal that created the first publicly traded electric motorcycle company in the United States.

New shares of LiveWire Group Inc., Harley-Davidson’s former electric motorcycle subsidiary, rose 1.5% in their U.S. market debut Tuesday after the unit’s $1.77 billion merger with a blank check company.

Last year, the EV unit agreed to merge with the company AEA-Bridges Impact Corp.

Shareholders for AEA-Bridges approved the merger last week, even as investors grow wary of blank-check companies with a record number of SPACs liquidating in 2022 amid rising interest rates and market volatility. The acquisition was originally expected to be completed in the first half of the year.

Harley released its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, in 2019 before deciding to relaunch the bike as its own sub-brand. Hoping to regain lost market share as the company’s core base of baby boomer customers ages and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity wanes, the Milwaukee-based company is looking to become more competitive with other electric motorcycle manufacturers.

LiveWire has one EV bike model priced from $16,999 and another at $22,799. Harley-Davidson will have majority ownership of LiveWire with a 74% stake.

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