Energy Department recovers $21 million from Fisker to pay back loansTue, 23 Apr 2013
The U.S. Department of Energy says it recovered $21 million in cash from struggling Fisker Automotive that will go toward repaying nearly $200 million in loans extended under a U.S. program to spur advanced vehicle development.
The Energy Department recouped the cash on April 11, DOE spokeswoman Aoife McCarthy said in a statement Monday.
"Given the obvious difficulties the company is facing, we are taking strong and appropriate action on behalf of taxpayers," the agency said in a statement.
A spokeswoman from Sitrick and Co., Fisker's outside public relations agency, declined to comment.
McCarthy said the agency recovered cash from Fisker's approximately $21 million reserve account -- funds that came from the company's sales and investors, not the department's loan.
Fisker, a maker of luxury plug-in cars, owes the U.S. government about $192 million of the $529 million credit line it received from the agency in 2009.
The company's first repayment of $20.2 million on the Energy Department loan was due Monday.
It wasn't clear if the funds recovered on April 11 satisfied today's payment.
The department suspended disbursements on the $529 million loan in June 2011 after Fisker fell short of U.S. sales and production milestones established as a condition of the loan.
Fisker, based in Anaheim, Calif., stopped manufacturing cars last summer and has about 50 employees after it laid off three quarters of its workers on April 5 to preserve cash.
It has retained Kirkland & Ellis LLP, a law firm with one of the largest U.S. bankruptcy practices.
A U.S. House panel is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on Fisker and its government financing.
Witnesses invited to attend the hearing include Fisker co-founder and namesake Henrik Fisker, who resigned last month; CEO Tony Posawatz and Chief Operating Officer Bernhard Koehler, who helped start the company.
Ryan Beene, David Phillips, Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.
(Energy Department recovers $21 million from Fisker originally appeared on Automotive News, sub. req.)
By Automotive News