Fisker Automotive has filed for bankruptcy in order to facilitate a takeover, according to media reports.
An investment group led by Hong Kong-based telecommunications billionaire Richard Li has purchased the federal loan provided to Fisker and has acquired the assets of the carmaker.
Li’s Hybrid Technology firm has committed up to $8m to fund both the sale and chapter 11 proceedings. The U.S. government is expected to lose around $139m on the deal, but a spokesman for the Energy Department told the LA Times it had "protected nearly three-quarters of our original commitment to Fisker".
Hybrid Technology is reported to be planning to restart production of the Fisker Karma EV, but production will be shifted from Valmet Automotive in Finland back to America. Fisker’s design and engineering operations will remain in California.
A Hybrid Technology spokesman was reported as saying: “As we continue to examine Fisker's opportunities, we will be making decisions about the structure and footprint of the new business. This enterprise is vitally important to the advanced electric vehicle industry and the public in general.”
Fisker halted production of the Karma last year. In March, founder Henrik Fisker resigned from the company, and a month later a number of staff were laid off. The firm had been beset with difficulties including the collapse of its battery supplier, and around 300 Karmas were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy.
The Fisker Karma was the brainchild of former Aston Martin and BMW design boss, Henrik Fisker. The four-door range-extended electric vehicle was conceived as a rival to the Mercedes CLS and Porsche Panamera.