Harley-Davidson Inc. on Monday said its LiveWire electric motorcycle business will go public in a deal — valued at nearly $1.8 billion — with a London-based acquisitions firm.
LiveWire will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LVW. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022, Harley said in a statement.
Harley-Davidson will retain an approximate 74% equity interest in LiveWire. Shareholders of partner AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. will own about 17%.
Jochen Zeitz, Harley’s, chairman, president and CEO, will serve as acting CEO of the new company for up to two years. Ryan Morrissey, whose title is chief electric vehicle officer at Harley, will be president of the new company.
“Today’s announcement is a historic milestone with LiveWire set to become the first publicly traded EV motorcycle company in the U.S.,” Zeitz said in a statement.
“This transaction will give LiveWire the freedom to fund new product development and accelerate its go-to-market model,” Zeitz said.
AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. is a special purpose acquisition firm formed by private equity firm AEA Investors and Bridges Fund Management. Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are used as a shortcut to go public, bypassing the lengthy and costly process of a traditional initial public offering.
One focus of AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. is environmentally sustainable projects. Another partner in the Livewire deal is KYMCO, a Taiwanese manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters and utility vehicles.
“We are at the confluence of two seminal shifts impacting the industry — vehicle electrification and sustainability. LiveWire is well positioned to become the premier sustainable electric motorcycle brand and redefine the industry by leveraging the manufacturing and distribution expertise of Harley-Davidson and KYMCO,” John Garcia, chairman of AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., said in a statement.
LiveWire is Harley’s first electric motorcycle, launched in 2019, as part of an effort to attract younger customers. The quick and powerful street bike requires no clutch or gear shifting, simplifying operation for new riders. And the bike can capture energy from braking and add a charge to the battery, useful while riding in stop-and-go traffic.
The newly formed company will also include STACYC, an electric bicycle brand for children.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors at Harley-Davidson and AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., will be financed by $400 million from AEA, $100 million from Harley-Davidson and $100 million from KYMCO.
Harley shares were up after the announcement on Monday and finished the day at $38.54, up 4.7%
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire to become a publicly traded company