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Fisker aims to raise $100M in new funds, resume work on Delaware factory

LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Fisker Automotive Inc., a maker of plug-in luxury cars, is working to finish at least $100 million of fundraising for a total of about $1 billion of private money by the end of March, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The people declined to be identified because the money raising is still under way.

The Anaheim, Calif.-based carmaker, working to remedy a glitch in its Karma sedan, had raised $896 million from private investors as of Feb. 10, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.

Russell Datz, a Fisker spokesman, declined to comment on how much additional funding the carmaker seeks to raise.

Fisker, intending to become profitable selling cars powered by lithium ion batteries and gasoline, needs the funds to improve the Karma and resume work on a stalled plant in Delaware, where it plans to build a second model.

The company has drawn down $193 million of $529 million in loans from the U.S. Energy Department.

Fisker's access to the loans was blocked by regulators after the company fell behind on deadlines for the Delaware project.

Fisker last week said it's readying software to fix a flaw that caused the $107,000 Karma to stall during tests by Consumer Reports magazine.

The company began shipping Karmas, built under contract in Finland, to customers late last year, and has delivered about 600, said Roger Ormisher, a Fisker spokesman.

'Funding options'

The carmaker, co-founded by auto designer Henrik Fisker, will show a prototype of the Nina, a plug-in model it intends to build at the Wilmington, Delaware, factory, on April 3 in New York.

Fisker said it will also give an update on its business plans at the event.

Fisker investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors LLC and the lithium ion battery maker A123 Systems Inc.

Fisker said last month it was considering additional fundraising from private sources.

"We are having other funding options than the DOE," Fisker, executive chairman of the carmaker, said on a Feb. 28 conference call. "We are right now assessing our different funding options.

The Energy Department's loan programs are under congressional scrutiny since the September 2011 bankruptcy of Solyndra LLC, a loan-guarantee recipient.

Beacon Power Corp., an energy-storage company, and Ener1 Inc., a supplier of batteries for electric cars, both filed for bankruptcy protection after receiving Energy Department aid.

The company last month also named Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda, a past president of the predecessor of Chrysler Group, as CEO, succeeding Henrik Fisker.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120323/COPY01/303239862/1493
 
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