Salem Radio Network News Monday, December 5, 2022

Business

Harley-Davidson spins off LiveWire in $1.8 billion SPAC merger

By Bianca Flowers

(Reuters) -Harley-Davidson Inc on Tuesday spun off its electric motorcycle division, LiveWire, in a SPAC deal creating the first publicly traded electric motorcycle company in the United States.

New shares of LiveWire Group Inc, Harley-Davidson’s former electric motorcycle subsidiary, were up 1.5% in their U.S. market debut on Tuesday following the unit’s $1.77 billion merger with a blank-check firm. Last year, the EV unit agreed to merge with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) AEA-Bridges Impact Corp.

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 in 2022 amid surging interest rates and market volatility. The acquisition was originally expected to close in the first half of the year.

Harley released its first electric motorbike, the LiveWire, in 2019 before deciding to relaunch the bike as its own sub-brand. Hoping to recoup lost market share as the company’s core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades, the Milwaukee-based company is seeking to become more competitive with other electric motorcycle manufacturers. LiveWire has one EV bike model priced beginning at $16,999 and another at $22,799. Harley-Davidson will hold the majority ownership of LiveWire with a 74% stake.

(Reporting by Bianca Flowers in Chicago and Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Jonathan Oatis)

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