Fisker Automotive seeks bankruptcy protection

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Nov 22, 2013 11:24 PM EST

Fisker Automotive Inc sought bankruptcy protection and intends to be acquired by Hybrid Technology. Two US government officials with knowledge of the deal told Bloomberg that Hybrid Technology, a group which includes Richard Li, paid USD 25 million to take over the taxpayer loan that Fisker defaulted on. The auction for the loan was conducted by the US Energy Department. Li is the son of the richest man in Hong Kong. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity since the details are private.

In a statement, Fisker Chief Restructuring Officer Marc Beilinson said, "After having evaluated and pursued all other alternatives, we believe the sale to Hybrid and the related Chapter 11 process is the best alternative for maximizing Fisker Automotive's value for the benefit of all stakeholders." He added that under the leadership of Hybrid, Fisker's technology and product development capability will continue to be a guiding force as the auto industry involves.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed today in the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Fisker said that it had assets of up to USD 500 million and debt which reached USD 1 billion, according to the petition. The assets of Anaheim, California-based firm said its assets included the closed plant of General Motors Co in Wilmington that it was supposed to put back in operation.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Energy Department placed its interest of Fisker on the auction block after the company failed to pay its loan and was unsuccessful in its attempts to get a buyer.

Fisker Automotive Inc was able to develop a plug-in hybrid car worth USD 103,000 which was driven by celebrities like Justin Bieber.

Hybrid Technology spokeswoman Caroline Langdale said, "HT is committed to building upon the Fisker legacy and presence in the United States as a foundation for the design and manufacture of advanced hybrid electric vehicles. We will work to realize the full potential these fantastic cars offer in helping to remake the auto industry for the 21st Century."

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