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Fisker finds new owner, declares bankruptcy

by Ronan Glon

Fisker has been purchased for $25 million.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has announced it has sold ailing Fisker and nearly all of its tangible and intellectual assets to a Delaware-based company called Hybrid Technology.

Founded less than a month ago by Hong Kong-based investor Richard Li, Hybrid Technology purchased Fisker's carcass for roughly $25 million, $139 million less than the total amount of taxpayer money pumped into the automaker by the DOE over the past couple of years. The DOE is nonetheless satisfied with the sale because it has obtained a written commitment from Hybrid Technology to move production of the plug-in hybrid Karma sedan from Finland to the United States, and to keep the company's research and development center in California.

To facilitate the transfer of ownership and make sure Fisker's creditors and suppliers get paid, the automaker has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a California court. Further details about the proceedings were not published, and key parties surrounding the matter declined to elaborate.

Hybrid Technology refused to comment on what the future holds for Fisker and whether company founder Henrik Fisker has a stake in Hybrid Technology. Reports indicate Li will try to make Fisker profitable in the short run by resuming production of the Karma before turning his attention to new models like the Atlantic and the Surf.

A vast majority of Fisker's upcoming models will be powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid, and Fisker will continue to provide Karma bodies to Bob Lutz's VL Automotive.

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