Temasek-backed Taiwanese start-up Gogoro in merger talks with Poema Spac: Sources

Gogoro has touted its ability to reduce energy consumption with its products that power electric scooters and other two-wheeled vehicles.
Gogoro has touted its ability to reduce energy consumption with its products that power electric scooters and other two-wheeled vehicles.PHOTO: GOGORO TAIWAN/FACEBOOK

TAIPEI (BLOOMBERG) - Gogoro, a Taiwanese start-up that specialises in battery-swopping technology, is in talks to go public through a merger with Poema Global Holdings, a blank-cheque firm, according to 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, they said. Terms may change and, as with any deal that is not finalised, it is possible that talks could fall through.

Representatives for Gogoro and Poema, a special purpose acquisition company (Spac), did not immediately respond to calls or e-mails seeking comment.

Taipei-based 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 kilograms 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 that is safer and more convenient while reducing the carbon footprint of our customers."

Led by chief executive Horace Luke, Gogoro counts Singapore's Temasek Holdings, Panasonic, Al Gore's Generation Investment Management, Sumitomo and France's Engie among earlier backers.

Last month, Gogoro said its network of monthly subscribers eclipsed 400,000, and that it has surpassed 200 million battery swops. The company in recent months has also struck strategic partnerships in India and China.

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