Times Article for Filing 12.13.21
Harley-Davidson to spin off electric motorcycle division
By Nikou Asgari and Claire Bushey
13 December 2021
LiveWire’s listing makes it the latest EV company to go public
via a Spac deal
Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is spinning off its electric bikes
division and listing it on the stock market through a merger with a
blank-cheque company, taking a similar route as other electric
vehicle groups that have gone public.
Harley’s electric motorcycle unit, LiveWire, is set to merge with
AEA Bridges Impact Corp, a special purpose acquisition company
(Spac) run by executives of private equity firm AEA Investors and
investment group Bridges Fund Management. The deal gives LiveWire
an enterprise value of $1.8bn.
LiveWire’s listing makes it the latest electric vehicle company to
go public via a Spac deal this year as investors have clamoured to
fund companies promising to revolutionise the future of
However, as interest in the Spac market has plunged from frenzied
highs at the start of the year, so too have shares in electric
vehicle companies, several of which have little to no revenues.
Jochen Zeitz, chief executive, told the Financial Times that
Harley’s long record as a manufacturer set it apart from nascent
electric vehicle companies.
“This is not the founder-led start-up that has no history,” Zeitz
said. “This is a [more than 100] year old company with a solid
management team that is spinning off a business that we believe
in,” he added.
Several high-profile electric vehicle companies that have listed
via Spacs have since faced scrutiny from regulators.
Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed
electric car company Lucid Motors, requesting documents related to
its projections and disclosures. Lordstown Motors is under
investigation by federal prosecutors, while Nikola was found to
have faked a prototype of its electric truck.
“When it comes to product testing or the infrastructure
manufacturing supply chain, all of that is daily business for us
and has been for over 100 years, and I think that is a big
differentiator from those companies that haven’t done this before,”
Zeitz said, referring to newer electric-vehicle makers.
The move to separate Harley’s electric vehicle business is a change
in strategy for the motorcycle maker, which has kept the LiveWire
brand in house for a decade. Harley had planned to invest $190m to
$250m a year to develop and produce electric motorcycles.
The deal will be funded through $400m raised by the AEA Bridges
Spac in September 2020, $100m investment from Harley and $100m in
financing from Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer Kymco, which will
make a so-called private
investment in public equity, or Pipe.