Less than a week after it was revealed that a consortium that included auto industry veteran Bob Lutz was bidding for control of Fisker Automotive, new reports are out claiming Henrik Fisker has now joined the bidding war.
Henrik Fisker, of course, is a co-founder of the distressed electric car company and up until March of this year served as its chairman. He eventually resigned from the company, citing disagreements with the rest of its management.
Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, is reporting that Henrik Fisker has teamed up with Richard Li, a Hong Kong-based billionaire and former Fisker Auto investor, to buy out the U.S. government’s stake in the company and stave off bankruptcy. Fisker Auto is yet to file for bankruptcy, though the company hasn’t built a car since last year and recently fired most of its staff.
A rival bid is expected to come from China’s Wanxiang Group, which has reportedly teamed up with Bob Lutz and is looking to take control of Fisker Auto itself. Wanxiang Group recently bought bankrupt battery manufacturer A123 Systems, which was the battery supplier for the Fisker Karma extended-range electric sedan.
Fisker Auto still owes the U.S. government $171 million in Department of Energy loans extended in 2009 under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. It’s believed that any sale of the loan will be at a discount.
Even with the sale of the government loan, Fisker Auto will still need to repay loans to suppliers as well as get its gets operations running again. The advantage of the loan sale would mean that any future sale of Fisker Auto will no longer have any government obligations.
Stay tuned for an update.