Harley-Davidson, Inc. and AEA-Bridges Impact Corp., a special purpose acquisition company with a dedicated sustainability focus, sponsored by executives of AEA Investors and Bridges Fund Management, today announced that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement under which ABIC will combine with LiveWire, Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle division, to create a new publicly traded company.
Its common stock is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW”.
LiveWire plans to redefine motorcycling as the industry-leading, all-electric motorcycle company, with a focus on the urban market and beyond. As a strong and desirable brand with growing global recognition, LiveWire plans to develop the technology of the future and to invest in the capabilities needed to lead the transformation of motorcycling. LiveWire will draw on its DNA as an agile disruptor from the lineage of Harley-Davidson, capitalizing on a decade of learnings in the EV sector and the iconic heritage of the most desirable motorcycle brand in the world.
“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.”
Powersports Business editor-in-chief Dave McMahon (left) and KYMCO president Allen Ko at the launch of the Ionex electric scooter brand at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
“We are at the confluence of two seminal shifts impacting the industry — vehicle electrification and sustainability,” said John Garcia, Chairman and Co-CEO of AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. “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. We’re excited to partner with Harley-Davidson and the LiveWire team to help define the future of electric motorcycles as the industry continues its rapid transformation.
“Together, Harley-Davidson, ABIC and KYMCO, believe in the future of LiveWire as a dedicated electric brand with the ability to lead, grow and revolutionize the electric motorcycle industry and beyond.”
Building on a 10-year journey within Harley-Davidson and established as a separate division in 2019, LiveWire is an industry leading, all-electric motorcycle brand with a focus on the urban market, and a mission to pioneer the electric motorcycle space and beyond.
As a pure-play EV brand with first-mover advantage, LiveWire has brand presence in North America and Europe, with planned expansion into additional markets including Asia.
LiveWire has a deep track record of R&D investments and a clearly defined strategy to capture increasing market share and consumer adoption in the growing two-wheel EV transition, following significant investment to date.
LiveWire has a compelling financial profile with a robust new product pipeline with breakthrough technology and features, and a clear path to attractive long-term profitability.
LiveWire will also include STACYC, the all-electric balance bikes for kids.
LiveWire will benefit from its industry-leading strategic partners, leveraging Harley-Davidson and KYMCO’s engineering expertise, manufacturing footprint, distribution, supply chain infrastructure and global logistics capabilities.
LiveWire will be the first public EV motorcycle company in the U.S. with its products designed and developed in America.
LiveWire will expand its own product portfolio while focusing on the rapidly developing future of EV, ensuring that future technology is applicable to Harley-Davidson’s core segments.
EV is an integral part of The Hardwire, Harley-Davidson’s 2021-2025 strategic plan to achieve long-term profitable growth and shareholder value creation. The transaction provides the required focus and investment necessary to win in electric.
The transaction will be financed by ABIC’s $400 million cash held in trust*, a $100 million investment from Harley-Davidson, and a $100 million investment from KYMCO, through a PIPE (private investment in public equity).
The combined company is expected to have an enterprise value of approximately $1.77 billion and post-money equity value of approximately $2.31 billion at closing.
Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, will be Chairman and serve as Acting CEO of LiveWire for up to two years following completion of the transaction. Ryan Morrissey will serve as President of LiveWire
LiveWire’s Board of Directors will include independent directors in addition to representation from Harley-Davidson and ABIC.
The net cash proceeds will be used to fund LiveWire’s strategic plan to accelerate its go-to-market strategy, invest in new product development, and enhance its global manufacturing and distribution capabilities.
Upon closing of the transaction, 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 (assuming no redemptions by ABIC’s shareholders).
As the majority shareholder in LiveWire following the transaction, Harley-Davidson will continue to consolidate LiveWire’s results of operations for GAAP financial reporting purposes. LiveWire will be reported as a separate segment within Harley-Davidson’s financials with GAAP disclosures recognizing amounts attributable to the noncontrolling interests.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both Harley-Davidson and ABIC, is expected to close in the first half of 2022, and is subject to the approval of ABIC shareholders and other customary closing conditions.