(Updated 2/17/2014 – 11:30 am ET to correct/clarify details of the Fisker’s DOE loan.)
China’s Wanxiang Group won an auction for the assets of bankrupt Fisker with a $149.2 million offer, beating out rival bidder Hybrid Tech Holdings. The courtroom drama lasted three days and went through 19 rounds of bidding.
Fisker’s creditors were delighted with the way things turned out. “It’s tremendous,” said William R. Baldiga, an attorney for the creditors. “I’m enjoying my ride home tonight.”
“This is a great result for all Fisker stakeholders, including Hybrid Tech and Fisker’s general unsecured creditors,” said Marc Beilinson, Fisker’s chief restructuring officer.
Fisker is still on the hook for defaulting on a $192-million DOE loan. Hybrid Tech, which bought the automaker’s outstanding $168 million DOE loan for $25 million in October, had hoped that the purchase of the government loan was a first step toward acquiring all of Fisker’s assets.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said last month that the winner of the auction will have to keep manufacturing and research in the US. Among Fisker’s assets is a former GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware, which Wanxiang has said it is interested in using.
Wanxiang is also greedily eyeing the market in China, where demand for “new energy vehicles” is projected to be enormous. Wanxiang already owns A123, Fisker’s former battery supplier, so all the elements of a major comeback seem to be in place.
US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross will consider final approval of the deal on February 18. Fisker said the sale should close “promptly” after Gross signs off.