Harley-Davidson (HOG) spun off its electric motorcycle division, LiveWire, in an SPAC deal creating the first publicly-traded electric motorcycle company in the U.S.
New shares of LiveWire (LVWR) were up 1.5% in their U.S. market debut following the unit’s $1.77 billion merger with a blank check company, but are falling steeply today.
LiveWire has one EV bike model priced at just below $17,000, and another at $22,800. Harley released its first electric motorbike in 2019 before deciding to relaunch the bike as its own sub-brand. Harley was hoping to regain lost market share as the company’s core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycles fades.
Last year, the EV unit agreed to merge with the SPAC AEA-Bridges Impact. Shareholders for AEA-Bridges approved the merger last week, even as investors are growing more cautious about blank check companies with a record number of SPACs liquidating this year, amid surging interest rates and market volatility. The deal was originally expected to close in the first half of the year.
Harley-Davidson will hold a majority ownership of LiveWire with a 74% stake. Harley-Davidson shares are down 1.6% so far this year.