You may have scoffed when the US Department of Energy sold the rights to its $168 million outstanding Fisker Automotive loan to Hybrid Tech Holdings last December for just $25 million, or about 15 cents on the dollar. It turns out that might be the going rate for anyone with claims against the bankrupt extended-range plug-in maker, though. That's because Fisker, which declared bankruptcy in November, has generated $985.4 million in claims from 618 not-so-happy parties, Delaware Online says, citing a bankruptcy filing from last week. Fisker stopped making its sporty but troubled Karma in mid-2012.
Wanxiang America won an auction for Fisker's assets, including its Delaware factory, for $149.2 million. That leaves $836 million, or about 85 percent of the collective value of the claims against the company. Naturally, Hybrid Tech Holdings, which was beaten out by Wanxiang in the bidding for the assets, has jumped in line to see if it can make good on what was formerly that DOE loan. The state of Delaware, where Fisker had acquired an old General Motors factory, is seeking $20 million stemming from some incentives it provided up front. And Finland's Valmet Automotive wants $8.5 million for its work with the company.
Former Fisker employees say the company is on the hook for another $6 million, and none other than General Motors itself is claiming it is owed the same amount. Then there is the lawsuit we first heard about in December that was filed against Fisker and some of its executives who were collecting hefty paychecks while no cars were being produced. Add it all up and you get almost a billion dollars. Good times.