Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand, LiveWire, will be spun off as a separate publicly traded company next year.
LiveWire will still be 74% owned by Harley-Davidson and its financial results will be reported along with Harley’s, but it will have its own stock trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.” The new company will go public in the first half of 2022 through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, according to Harley-Davidson. Taiwanese motorcycle company Kymco is also investing in the new company and will own a 17.3% share.
The spinoff gives LiveWire an enterprise valuation of nearly $1.8 billion. Harley-Davidson’s overall current market capitalization is about $5.8 billion.
LiveWire currently offers just one model, the $22,000 LiveWire One. The 100-horsepower bike has a range of 146 miles in low-speed urban riding and 70 miles in higher speed highway riding. Harley’s LiveWire electric motorcycle was first shown as a concept bike in 2014. It went on sale as a production model in 2019 but was frequently criticized for its high price at the time of about $30,000.
Harley-Davidson plans for LiveWire to release three more electric motorcyle models, but the company did not provide a timeline for when. It expects to sell around 190,000 electric motorcycles globally in 2030. In 2021, Harley-Davidson sold fewer than 400 LiveWire motorcycles. The brand will also sell small electric bicycles for children.
LiveWire competes against startup electric motorcycle makers like Zero and Lightning, both based in the United States, and Italy’s Energica. Electric motorcycles currently make up just 1% of motorcycle sales in the US, according to Harley-Davidson, but the company expects them to make up 10% by 2026. By that time, they are expected to make up 13% of sales in Europe and 45% in China, according to a Harley-Davidson investor presentation.
Harley-Davidson announced its own five-year strategy earlier this year which involved focusing on the brand’s core market segments of large touring and cruiser bikes.