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Chinese firm is among suitors keen to buy Fisker
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

A BOUTIQUE carmaker led by former General Motors Co executive Bob Lutz and China's largest auto parts supplier made an offer this month to buy cash-strapped "green" car company Fisker Automotive, people familiar with the matter have said.

VL Automotive and China's Wanxiang Group are looking to gain control of Fisker through a prepackaged bankruptcy. This comes alongside a separate push by investors, including billionaire Richard Li, to buy out the US Department of Energy's position in Fisker.

Sources cautioned that efforts to revive Fisker are ongoing and may fall apart.

Fisker, maker of the US$100,000-plus Karma plug-in hybrid, has faced negative news this year while it scrambles to find a buyer and preserve cash. Fisker hired bankruptcy advisers and fired most of its workforce this year.

The automaker, which has not built a car since July, is also struggling to repay its federal loan. Last month, Republican lawmakers grilled company co-founders Henrik Fisker and Barny Koehler over the automaker's finances.

Fisker left the automaker over "major disagreements" with the its executive team in March. Since then he's been in touch with various investor groups to discuss a potential role for himself in the car company should Fisker finds a new owner, sources said.

Fisker, Wanxiang, VL Automotive and the DOE were not immediately available for comment. Fisker declined to comment through a spokesman.

Details of the bid from Wanxiang and VL Automotive were not immediately clear, but both companies have an interest in Fisker's survival.

Wanxiang bought Fisker's lithium-ion battery supplier, A123 Systems Inc, out of bankruptcy. This week, a judge approved the bankruptcy plan for A123, which changed its name to B456 Systems Inc.

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