After spinning out the LiveWire brand from the Harley-Davidson name earlier this year, the MoCo is getting ready to take its electric motorcycle company public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Harley-Davidson is taking LiveWire public (with the help of AEA Investors and Bridges Fund Management) through an interesting method called a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is a method of creating an IPO without going through all the work that such an endeavor usually entails.
An SPAC allows people to investment in a shell company that has intentions of purchasing a private entity, and thus taking it public through their acquisition. It can also be used as an alternative to a reverse merger, but I’ll spare you the details on the differences.
The core item for an SPAC is that investors usually have to invest blindly in these types of deals, but in the case of the LiveWire brand, we already know that the electric motorcycle brand’s operations are the target acquisition.
As such, LiveWire is set to be traded on the NYSE under the ticker symbol LVW, which will make it the first American electric motorcycle brand to be publicly traded, with about $545 million in its coffers when that happens.
Free as its own company, LiveWire will then have the ability to pursue its own unique business needs, which out of the gate include strategic partnerships with Harley-Davidson and Kymco.
Presumably, that will mean electric powertrains for those two brands, along with other R&D efforts.
“Today’s announcement is a historic milestone with LiveWire set to become the first publicly traded EV motorcycle company in the U.S.,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson.
“By building on Harley-Davidson’s 118-year lineage, LiveWire’s mission is to be the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world, leading the electrification of the sport.”
“This transaction will give LiveWire the freedom to fund new product development and accelerate its go-to-market model. LiveWire will be able to operate as an agile and innovative public company while benefitting from the at-scale manufacturing and distribution capabilities of its strategic partners, Harley-Davidson and KYMCO.”
Upon closing of the IPO, Harley-Davidson will retain an equity interest in the Company of approximately 74%, ABIC’s shareholders will own approximately 17%, and ABIC’s founders and KYMCO will own approximately 4% each.