Fisker Automotive is on the cusp of being handed over to the Wanxiang Group after the Chinese multinational won an auction for the premium plug-in hybrid car maker with a bid of US$149.2 million ($164.8 million).
Industry journal Automotive News reports the winning bid by the Hangzhou-based Wanxiang Group – China’s largest automotive components supplier – came after three days and 19 rounds of bidding against Hybrid Tech Holdings. The final bid was also just shy of six times what Fisker first sought when it filed for bankruptcy in November last year.
Before securing the California-based car maker founded in 2007, Wanxiang must have its offer approved by US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross, scheduled to occur this week.
Listing assets of US$500 million and debt of US$1 billion in its November 22 Chapter 11 petition, Fisker last year asked Judge Gross to allow Hybrid Tech to buy it for around US$25 million – this was unsuccessful after objections from unsecured creditors.
Already owning the assets of the defunct A123 Systems Inc. – the company that previously supplied Fisker with defective battery packs – the bid puts Wanxiang in a position where it could potentially restart the plug-in hybrid marque and expand it into the world’s biggest car market, China.
A new Chinese-owned Fisker era would put to bed a turbulent time for the electric car maker with its executive chairman and co-founder Henrik Fisker leaving the US company in March 2013, numerous fire-related safety recalls of its Fisker Karma (pictured above) dotting its history and lost shipments resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.