Ener1 faces questions on ownership - Barron's

NEW YORK, March 22 Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:07pm EDT

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NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Ener1 Inc HEV.O, which makes electric car batteries, could be poised to cash in on the push toward more environmentally friendly cars, but faces questions about its ownership structure and customer base, Barron's reports in its most recent issue.

In its March 23 issue, Barron's notes that if Ener1 estimates that if it could win 5 percent to 12 percent of the market for electric batteries, it could post $2.1 billion in annual revenue with 15 percent margins.

The article notes, however, that for now Ener1 "has just one major publicly disclosed customer: Think Global, a Norwegian electric-car maker that temporarily halted production last year."

It also cited questions about Ener1's ownership structure.

"As of late February, some 62 percent of Ener1's outstanding shares were owned by privately held Ener1 Group," the article reports.

It adds, "In turn, 66 percent of Ener1 Group -- a recent participant in a $5.7 million loan to Think Global, which is trying to emerge from bankruptcy -- is held by Bzinfin, a British Virgin Islands company whose 'indirect beneficial owner' is Boris Zingarevich, a Russian businessman. Zingarevich has close ties to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."

Shares of Ener1 closed at $4.24 on Nasdaq on Friday. (Reporting by Paul Thomasch; editing by Richard Chang)

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