Fisker Automotive filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday with plans to sell itself to investor group Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC.
The Energy Department said that of the $192 million owed to the government by Fisker, it has recovered $53 million, leaving $139 million unpaid.
The Energy Department in October launched an auction of Fisker’s loan, which had a $168 million unpaid balance. The department didn’t disclose how much Hybrid Tech paid to acquire the loan.
“This purchase marks the first step towards an acquisition of Fisker’s assets by an affiliate of Hybrid Tech LLC that will eventually lead to the restarting of production and distribution of the Karma sedan, as well as the development and production of future advanced hybrid electric vehicles,” the company said.
“Hybrid Tech LLC is committed to building upon the Fisker legacy and presence in the United States as a foundation for the design and manufacture of advanced hybrid electric vehicles,” said Caroline Langdale, spokesperson for Hybrid Tech LLC. “We will work to realize the full potential these fantastic cars offer in helping to remake the auto industry for the 21st Century.”
Fisker was the maker of the Karma luxury-sports plug-in hybrid sedan, which was designed and developed in California and sold in the United States and Europe.
“As we continue to examine Fisker’s opportunities, we will be making decisions about the structure and footprint of the new business,” said Langdale. “This enterprise is vitally important to the advanced electric vehicle industry and the public in general, and we look forward to sharing details about our plans for the future.”
Fisker in 2010 received a $529 million loan from the Energy Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The company drew down roughly $192 million before the department froze future payments because Fisker failed to hit several vehicle development targets required by the loan.
When Fisker failed to make payments earlier this year, the government seized $21 million from the company’s bank account.
The company, named after co-founder Henrik Fisker, defaulted on its loan in April and hired a bankruptcy and restructuring firm. However, the company didn’t file for bankruptcy as its investors sought to sell the business and its loan obligation at a reduced rate outside of a bankruptcy filing.
Fisker hasn’t produced a car in more than a year and was plagued by quality problems in the first vehicles it launched in 2011.
Other companies that received loans from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program include Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Tesla Motors and Vehicle Production Group, a maker of natural gas-fueled, wheelchair-accessible vans.