Dec 31 China's largest auto parts company made a
surprise bid for Fisker Automotive just days before the bankrupt
maker of the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car was to be sold to a
Hong Kong tycoon, according to court documents.
Fisker creditors asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Wilmington, Delaware to scrap Fisker's agreed sale to a company
affiliated with Richard Li and instead hold an open auction at
which Wanxiang America Corp plans to bid.
Wanxiang outbid Johnson Controls last year in a bankruptcy
auction for most of the assets of A123 Systems Inc, which made
batteries for Fisker's cars.
"They are extremely capable and knowledgeable of the
industry and know how to get things done," said William Baldiga,
a Brown Rudnick attorney who represents Fisker's official
Both Fisker and A123 obtained green technology loans from
the Department of Energy. Critics of the government's loan
program tried to get regulators to block the sale of A123 to
Wanxiang, arguing that sensitive technology was being
transferred to an economic rival.
Baldiga said he does not anticipate similar problems with
the sale of Fisker's assets, which he said are primarily related
to automotive design.
Wanxiang plans to restart Fisker production and eventually
move the manufacturing from Finland to Michigan, according to
Wanxiang's presentation to creditors that was filed with the
Fisker filed for bankruptcy in November, after being hobbled
by production glitches and recalls.
Li planned to buy the company after he paid around $30
million for Fisker's loan from the U.S. government. Li planned
to bid the $168 million owed on that loan to acquire Fisker's
assets, leaving other creditors such as suppliers with next to