Polaris acquires stake in Brammo

Minnesota-based off-road and powersports vehicle maker Polaris Industries has acquired a stake in Ashland electric motorcycle developer and manufacturer Brammo Inc.

Privately held Brammo said Wednesday it has completed a $28 million Series B stock sale led by Polaris Industries that included existing shareholder Alpine Energy and new shareholder NorthPort Investments LLC of Northfield, Ill.

Brammo said the cash infusion will accelerate the company's development plans and broaden its range of markets for use of its drivetrain technology.

The move comes on the heels of Brammo's September acquisition of Quantyaparx, a chain of European race tracks exclusively used by electric dirt bikes. The oldest of the 16 dirt-bike tracks are in Austria, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

"Brammo and its partners are combining forces to gain dominance in the EV (electric vehicle) powersports market," said Craig Bramscher, founder and chief executive officer.

The foundation of Brammo's success lies in its innovative battery and power-train technology, which is integral to its expanding product line. In the past four years, Brammo has developed several models: Enertia, an urban commuter bike; Empulse, a sports motorcycle; and Engage and Encite, off-road motorcycles.

The Enertia bikes are built in Sarvar, Hungary, and Brammo Power battery pack production soon will begin at Frickenhausen, Germany.

"The strategic part of the relationship can mean many things," Bramscher said. "We are not getting specific, but they have capabilities and global reach that could help us in distribution, financing and growth."

The latest round of funding allows Brammo to boost research and development activity at the Ashland headquarters, while growing production near prime European and Asian sales markets.

Polaris Industries shares shot up in response to the news, as the Medina, Minn., company's stock rose $3.04 to a 52-week high of $62.

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