The remains of Fisker Automotive - which might not even include the name and logo - are supposed to finally be sold off tomorrow, but the scene before the auction is anything but clear. As as reminder, the two bidding parties are Wanxiang and Hybrid Tech Holdings. Hybrid Tech was denied an emergency motion in court last week that would have lifted an earlier ruling that limited how much debt it can use to try and buy Fisker. The limit remains at $25 million.
Bloomberg says that the winner's spoils are not so much the cars or the design but the 36 patents involved (about half are pending) as well as an established vehicle brand in both the US and China. The chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, Steven Szakaly, told Bloomberg that, "[the auction is] not about the manufacturing, It's about the intellectual property." The patents include things like the electric drivetrain tech, the solar technology and the design of the mustache grille.
And because lawsuits are easier to get than a DOE loan, a number of Fisker executives and the company's legal team have been hit with a $20-million lawsuit that claims Fisker misled investors. The Wall Street Journal reports that Fisker is accused of withholding information that would have given a clearer picture of Fisker's financial situation. According to the WSJ, the lawsuit says the Fisker team kept the negative news quiet, "because they needed huge sums of additional cash to fund Fisker Automotive to position the Company for a sale or an initial public offering...without plaintiffs' and other investors' money, Fisker Automotive was not a viable company."
Fisker executives have been hit with a $20-million lawsuit that claims they misled investors.
Meanwhile, Hybrid Tech Holding has hired a former Ford executive, Martin Leach, to be better prepared to manage the Fisker assets should Hybrid Tech win tomorrow. Leach told Reuters that he has been working on a business plan "for months," and it starts with the company taking care of current Karma owners and re-engaging suppliers. The most difficult challenge, we imagine, will be with A123 Systems, which supplied the Karma's batteries but was bought by Wanxiang over a year ago. Leach said that Hybrid could get new batteries from Boston Power.