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I just received this from my dealer!
I am assuming this is new news??


Hybrid Tech Boosts Offer for Fisker Automotive

Aims to Ward Off Competition from Wanxiang Group Unit

Peg Brickley
Jan. 2, 2014 4:06 p.m. ET
Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC has bumped up its offer for Fisker Automotive Inc. in a bid to ward off competition for the hybrid-car company from a unit of China's Wanxiang Group.
In advance of a courtroom showdown over Fisker, Hybrid Tech increased by $1 million the cash it is offering creditors to $26 million and proposed splitting with them the proceeds from the sale of a former General Motors plant in Delaware, a facility some estimates say could be worth as much as $50 million.
Originally slated for Friday, the court session was pushed back to Jan. 10 in the wake of a rapid-fire series of developments that brought a new contender to the field, amid creditor questions about what went wrong at the maker of luxury hybrid vehicles.
Lawyers for Hybrid Tech weren't immediately available Thursday to discuss the shifting dynamics of Fisker's Chapter 11 case, which began in Nov. 22 with a filing by a company that said a fast sale to Hybrid Tech, untested at auction, was the best chance of reviving the technology for advanced hybrid cars.
Hybrid Tech's claim on Fisker originated at an auction last year, at which it bid $25 million for the $168 million balance due on a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Possession of Fisker's top secured loan positioned Hybrid Tech to control the fate of the company. In exchange for ownership of Fisker, free and clear of most past debts and the threat of lawsuits, Hybrid Tech is offering to cancel some of what it is owed and provide some cash for creditors.
Creditors that invited Wanxiang to make a play for Fisker aren't inclined to take Hybrid Tech up on the new-and-improved offer, their lawyer, Brown Rudnick LLP's Sunni Beville, said on Thursday. Instead, creditors are determined to push for an auction where Wanxiang and Hybrid Tech compete head-to-head for the distressed company.
Hybrid Tech's last-minute pot-sweetening translates into a penny or so recovery for most creditors, up from the fraction-of-a-penny recovery that was in store for them under the original offer, said Ms. Beville, lawyer for the official committee representing unsecured creditors in Fisker's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
"It's an improvement in their bid and it shows there is more value to be realized here, either through Wanxiang and an open sale process or, if it's Hybrid, better treatment for creditors," Ms. Beville said.
A unit of China's biggest auto-parts maker, Wanxiang bought the company that makes batteries for Fisker's cars, A123 Systems, at a bankruptcy auction in 2012. Ms. Beville said Wanxiang shares a common goal with Fisker's unpaid suppliers, the goal of getting Fisker up and running again.
"Wanxiang would definitely be interested in seeing those cars back in production," Ms. Beville said. "Creditors want a go-forward company."
Creditors also want to sue over the series of events they allege put Fisker on course for a sale to insiders, through shell companies carrying the names Hybrid Tech and Hybrid Technology, which were allegedly created by early backer Richard Li Tzar Kai. Though their investigation isn't finished, creditors believe they have grounds to accuse key people associated with Fisker of improperly maneuvering the results of the auction of the DOE loan, court papers say.
Hybrid Tech's lawyers couldn't be reached for comment Thursday on the proposed suit. In court papers, they denied any improper conduct and said they would defend against the allegations and prove Fisker was laid low by operational failures, not allegedly scheming insiders.
Wanxiang did bid for the DOE loan at the auction but didn't win. It remained interested in Fisker, Ms. Beville said, and through its Wanxiang America Corp. is offering $25.725 million for the company's assets. Additionally, Wanxiang is offering to take over certain company debts and give Fisker's creditors a 20% stake in the reorganized company.
Fisker's attorneys say Wanxiang's offer is defective and contains no guaranteed recovery for creditors, unlike Hybrid Tech's proposal. In court papers, they accused the auto-parts giant of trying to undermine the Chapter 11 proceeding, raising the prospect of a bare bones Chapter 7 liquidation for Fisker.
Hybrid also challenged Wanxiang's creditor-backed proposal for an auction, arguing its rival for Fisker wants to strip it of its rights as a secured creditor.
As owner of the DOE loan, Hybrid says it is entitled to force any competitor to pay off the full face amount of the debt if it wants Fisker. Wanxiang contends Hybrid's loan is worth only what it paid for the DOE debt: $25 million.
Fisker's late-revised Chapter 11 plan also is up for court review. It faces opposition from, among others, an investor that sued in federal court in Delaware over the circumstances of Fisker's demise. The Chapter 11 plan offers "precious little, if anything" to the company's creditors, but would effectively shut down the lawsuit, according to lawyers for Atlas Capital Management LP, the investor.
-Yuliya Chernova and Jacqueline Palank contributed to this article.
Write to Peg Brickley at [email protected]
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