Taiwan's Gogoro in merger talks with Spac Poema

TAIPEI • Gogoro, a Taiwanese start-up specialising in battery-swopping technology, is in talks to go public through a merger with Poema Global Holdings, a blank-cheque firm, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal is set to value the combined company at US$1 billion (S$1.34 billion) or more, the people said. An announcement could come as soon as this week, but it is also possible that talks could fall through.

Representatives for Gogoro and Poema, a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), did not respond to calls for comment.

Gogoro has touted its ability to reduce energy consumption with its products that power electric scooters and other two-wheeled vehicles. Last month, it said that together with its customers, it had saved 300 million kg of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of what more than 30 million trees absorb in a year.

"Gogoro's innovative battery-swopping technology will provide cities with a better electric refuelling system that greatly reduces consumer anxiety on battery life and range as well as usage costs," Ms Dong Jinggui, chairman of Yadea Group Holdings, a Gogoro partner that makes e-scooters and bicycles, said in a May statement. "It will introduce a brand-new mobility experience... while reducing the carbon footprint of our customers."

Led by chief executive officer Horace Luke, Gogoro counts Singapore's Temasek, Panasonic, former US vice-president Al Gore's Generation Investment Management, Sumitomo and France's Engie among its earlier backers.

Last month, Gogoro said it had more than 400,000 monthly subscribers, and that it has surpassed 200 million battery swops. It also struck strategic partnerships in India and China recently.

Poema, led by co-chairmen Joaquin Rodriguez Torres and Emmanuel DeSousa, CEO Homer Sun and president Marc Chan, raised US$345 million in a January initial public offering.

It previously said it is focused on finding a company in Asia or Europe that has "validated technologies and attractive unit economics".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Taiwan's Gogoro in merger talks with Spac Poema'. Subscribe