Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., the defunct maker of luxury plug-in cars, won bankruptcy court permission to seek creditor votes on a liquidation plan that will distribute proceeds from a $149.2 million asset sale.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross on Monday approved the company’s disclosure statement, an explanation of the plan for voters to consult, at a hearing today in Wilmington, Delaware. He set a hearing for July 28 on court confirmation of the plan.
Fisker, now known as FAH Liquidating Corp., sought creditor protection in November, blaming the earlier bankruptcy of its battery supplier, safety recalls and shipments lost to Hurricane Sandy. In February, it won court approval to sell its assets to China’s Wanxiang Group Corp. for an offer valued at $149.2 million, almost six times what the carmaker sought for the assets when it filed for bankruptcy.
With the assets, the Chinese buyer could revive the Fisker brand in the world’s biggest auto market, which is struggling to reduce some of the globe’s worst air pollution. It would also provide an entry point to selling cars in the U.S. Wanxiang already owns the successor to A123 Systems Inc., the U.S. company that supplied batteries to Fisker until collapsing under the cost of a recall.
The unsecured creditors’ committee and Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC, which bought a U.S.-backed loan to Fisker for $25 million before the bankruptcy, reached an agreement in April on dividing the sale proceeds, according to court papers. The committee and Hybrid, controlled by Richard Li, the son of Hong Kong’s richest man, are the only stakeholders left in the case.
Fisker had drawn about $192 million of the initial commitment of $529 million from a federal program to spur production of alternative-energy vehicles. Hybrid, which paid the U.S. Energy Department $25 million to take over the loan, had sought everything Wanxiang agreed to pay for the assets.
Unsecured creditors, who said the sale included assets that couldn’t be used as collateral for Hybrid’s loan, will split $20 million in cash, according to the settlement. They are owed $80 million to $100 million. Priority claim holders are to get an additional $8 million.