NEW YORK: Fisker Automotive, the US-backed maker of luxury plug-in hybrid sports cars, has hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis to advise it on a possible bankruptcy filing, a source said, while executives continue their search for a strategic investor. The company, based in Anaheim, California, furloughed its US work force this week to preserve cash.
Anup Sathy, a bankruptcy lawyer at Kirkland who handled the Chapter 11 filings of General Growth Properties and Innkeepers USA Trust, is advising Fisker, the source said.
On on Wednesday, two sources said the company was considering bankruptcy while it pursued alternatives.
All of the sources declined to be named because the matter is not public.
A Fisker spokesman declined to comment. Neither Kirkland & Ellis nor Sathy were immediately available to comment.
Fisker, which makes the $100,000-plus Karma plug-in hybrid, has not produced a car since July and is seeking a financial backer to help finish the development of a second plug-in hybrid, the Atlantic, and produce it at a Delaware plant.
The company’s cash crunch comes less than a month before it must make a payment on a US Department of Energy loan that Fisker received in 2009. Fisker declined to divulge the amount of the payment, which is due April 22.
Fisker has faced many challenges this month, including the abrupt resignation of its founder, Henrik Fisker, over “several major disagreements” with top management. Its efforts to find an investor in China also stalled. The company had been in talks with Chinese automakers Dongfeng Motor Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to gauge their interest in acquiring a majority stake in Fisker.