Hybrid-vehicle maker Fisker may find new life with A123 owner

(Updated below) Bankrupt Fisker Automotive may get a new lease on life in conjunction with A123, which once supplied batteries to the maker of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.

Creditors are asking a bankruptcy judge to consider holding an auction in which the U.S. subsidiary of Wanxiang Group of Hangzhou, China, which now owns A123, could bid for Fisker, along with other interested parties, according to Erin Ailworth writing in the Boston Globe.

Ailworth writes, “Andrea James, an analyst who tracks the automotive and clean technology markets for Dougherty & Co. LLC, a Minneapolis investment banking firm, said Wanxiang’s efforts to buy Fisker make sense when paired with its purchase of A123 last year. Among other assets, Wanxiang acquired an A123 plant in Michigan, where it could manufacture the Karma hybrid.”

Update (1/3/2014): Reuters reports that Fisker is asking that the federal judge approve its sale to a Hong Kong tycoon rather than Wanxiang. Fisker claims that after purchasing A123 it cut battery supplies to Fisker and now seeks to profit from a bankruptcy it helped cause. A hearing scheduled for today has been postponed until January 10 because of snow.

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