Wanxiang Group has increased its offer for Fisker Automotive, heating up the fight for the failed electric-vehicle maker. The company sweetened its bid with an additional $10 million in cash.
An attorney for Fisker’s official committee of unsecured creditors told a Delaware bankruptcy judge today that Wanxiang might increase its offer even more if the judge approves a competitive auction for Fisker.
But Fisker wants the judge to approve a private sale to Hybrid Technology, which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li. Hybrid became Fisker’s senior secured lender by buying a failed Department of Energy loan for $25 million. That resulted in a loss to U.S. taxpayers of $139 million. Hybrid is seeking to buy Fisker’s remaining assets in bankruptcy. The proposed sale will be considered at a hearing on Friday.
California-based Fisker, which had planned to build high-priced cars at a former General Motors plant in Delaware, filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2013, ending a long, downward spiral that began after it received a $529-million loan commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Fisker drew $192 million on the Obama administration’s green-energy loan before DOE officials suspended funding in 2011 after the automaker failed to meet several sales milestones for its problem-plagued Karma luxury vehicle.