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I can't believe it...Fisker made the DOE payment of $21M on 4/11. Go figure!!
The article does not say that Fisker made a payment; but that DOE "recovered" or "recouped" $21M, which may mean that Fisker made a payment, or it could mean that DOE got something through assignment of assets or a new financing arrangement or something else entirely. Not entirely clear at this point. Also, this is inconsistent with other reports about how much cash FA has on hand.

So the mystery continues ....
 

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It looks like Fisker won't have to turn it assets over to the DOE for - the time being. If nothing else it gives the company control over it's destiny. Good.
I would not be so sure about that. By most reports, FA was down to $25M in cash. If they just used $21M to get a 3-month stay of execution from the DOE, they are not even going to be able to pay the BK lawyers, let alone operate the company. Unless they have an investor ready to sign on or to buy FA, they just significantly diminished the chance of a successful Chapter 11 BK.
 

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What's interesting is that the WSJ posted something similar. Saying Fisker didn't repay the loan but it was seized. See below.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday that it has taken $21 million out of a reserve account set up as part of a loan to luxury plug-in car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. in anticipation of a default on a payment the company owes on a federal loan.
"Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers," the Energy Department said in a statement. The department "recouped the company's approximately $21 million reserve account—funds that came from the company's sales and investors, not our loan—and will apply those funds to the loan."
Fisker's chief executive, Tony Posawatz, said in March the payment on the $192 million the company borrowed under a federal advanced technology vehicle program was due Monday.
The Energy Department said it took the money 12 days ago. The Obama administration has been criticized by Republicans in Congress for its management of loans made to several clean energy technology companies, including Fisker. A GOP-controlled House subcommittee has scheduled hearings on the Fisker situation later this week.
Fisker's fate is uncertain. The Anaheim, Calif., company has said that it is trying to find a way to continue operating through a new owner, which would require a resolution with the U.S. government. Fisker has hired bankruptcy attorneys Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Investors and company leaders continued efforts to find new investors or buyers, though a deal hasn't yet been reached.
Fisker's outside public relations firm had no comment on the situation Monday evening.
Fisker in 2010 received approval from the Obama administration for a $529 million federal loan, aimed at funding a plan for Fisker to develop a luxury plug-in car and build it at a former General Motors Co. factory in Delaware.
That car, called the Atlantic, was to be the second model in Fisker's lineup, following the $100,000 Karma which Fisker had produced at a factory in Finland until last year when production was halted as the company's money problems intensified.
Earlier this month, Fisker dismissed 150 of its remaining 200 employees to conserve cash after sale discussions with two Chinese auto makers faltered. Fisker remains in discussions with those companies, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Group Co., and others ahead of the expected bankruptcy filing, a person familiar with the situation said.
 

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I think this is great news. It's very much what I hoped they would do. This prevents them from being cruicified in the press, and it takes all of the bite out of the April 24th hearings. It also gives Fisker at least a little runway to get something else in place. I've heard some of the same rumors that Dennis has about new players from Europe, and/or Henrik becoming re-involved in some capacity. Making the payment doesn't guarantee any of those things, but I think missing the payment (on Earth Day no less) think would be been unrecoverable from a PR and political perspective.

Brent
 

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From the way the WSJ is worded and from my own speculation, I imagine that the 20MM of 'cash on hand' was actually held in escrow; that while it was available to the DOE to draw on (and for them to spin into "seizing the funds") it likely wasn't available for general fund purposes. I have nothing to substantiate this; it's just a guess.
 

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I think this is great news. It's very much what I hoped they would do. This prevents them from being cruicified in the press, and it takes all of the bite out of the April 24th hearings. It also gives Fisker at least a little runway to get something else in place. I've heard some of the same rumors that Dennis has about new players from Europe, and/or Henrik becoming re-involved in some capacity. Making the payment doesn't guarantee any of those things, but I think missing the payment (on Earth Day no less) think would be been unrecoverable from a PR and political perspective.

Brent
If Fisker had voluntarily made the payment, which is looking less and less probable, they could have claimed some credit for it at the hearing but this looks more like the DOE trying to cover its own ass by taking the only action it could and seizing the company's last few dollars. If anything, this is going to be claimed as a victory by the DOE, not by FA since it is more like a foreclosure than a payment -- the $21M was most likely part of the loan collateral. It will also make it very difficult for FA to set up and execute a reorganization plan under Ch 11 if they need to go BK.
 
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