Fisker asks bankruptcy court to sell its EVs at average of $14,000 each

Fisker has a willing buyer for its remaining inventory of all-electric Ocean SUVs, and has asked the Delaware Bankruptcy Court judge overseeing its Chapter 11 case to approve the sale.

If approved by the judge, Fisker would be able to offload 3,321 finished EVs to a New York-based vehicle leasing company for $46.25 million. That works out to around $14,000 per vehicle — a steep fall from the roughly $70,000 starting price some of them once commanded. It’s also lower than the bargain-bin prices Fisker was offering during its descent into bankruptcy.

The motion requesting approval of the sale could become the next flashpoint in Fisker’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Lawyers representing the company’s unsecured lenders already expressed concern in the first hearing, held on June 21, that they would not see the proceeds of such sales. Fisker owes around $1 billion in total to all of its unsecured creditors.

The total scope of Fisker’s other assets and what value they might hold is also not clear; On Monday, lawyers for the startup filed a motion to delay the release of that information, in part because it’s still being compiled.

The leasing company — which the Wall Street Journal first reported to be a company called American Lease — mainly offers its vehicles to ride-hail drivers in the New York City area, where fleets need to be zero-emission by 2030. The company has agreed to wait to lease any of the Oceans until the open recalls are addressed.

American Lease initially agreed to buy 2,100 Ocean EVs on May 30, just two weeks before Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It increased that offer to buy all 3,321 Oceans that are ready-for-sale and configured for North America on June 30. (The deal excludes Canadian-configured vehicles located in Canada.) American Lease cannot re-sell the vehicles for 12 months. It’s technically buying the Oceans on a sliding scale, paying $3,200 for previously-titled vehicles and $16,500 for ones in “good working order.” It’s also buying damaged ones for $2,500 each.

Lawyers for the company are trying to move the sale through quickly. In a motion requesting expedited approval of the sale, they wrote that they will “be unable to fund vital business expenses … necessary to effectuate an orderly liquidation” if it is not completed by July 12.

After that, Fisker will have “no obligation of repair or maintenance of the Vehicles, and Vehicles will be sold ‘as is’ with no express or implied warranties,” according to the agreement. Fisker also will have “no obligation to update the” vehicles beyond the 2.1 version of its software. Fisker will also give American lease license to access “all relevant source code or other proprietary software operating elements.”

The inventory sale has been blessed by Fisker’s largest secured creditor, Heights Capital Management, an affiliate of financial services company Susquehanna International Group. Heights loaned Fisker more than $500 million in 2023, and the EV startup still owes nearly $190 million. A lawyer representing Heights’ investment arm said in the June 21 hearing that the sale would “maybe pay off a fraction of Heights’ secured debt” — now we have a clearer picture of the math he was running in his head at the time.

Heights’ loans to Fisker were originally not secured by any collateral — they were convertible notes that could either be paid back or swapped for stock in the EV startup. But when Fisker was late in filing its third-quarter financial report to the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, that technically breached one of the covenants of the deal with Heights. To repair that breach, Fisker pledged all of its assets as collateral for the remaining debt.

Alex Lees, a lawyer who represented an informal group of the unsecured lenders, said at the first hearing that this was a “terrible deal for [Fisker] and its creditors.” Lees and a lawyer representing the U.S. Trustee’s office expressed “great concern” that the case could transition to a more straightforward Chapter 7 liquidation following the sale of the Ocean inventory. In that scenario, unsecured creditors could wind up fighting over even less.

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