Fisker hires Huron Consulting to handle day-to-day operations

Article by Anita Panait, on January 31, 2013

Fisker Automotive Inc. has commissioned Huron Consulting Group Inc. to help manage its day-to-day operations during a sale or in partnership negotiations. Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for Fisker disclosed that Huron’s Hugh Sawyer is serving as chief administrative officer. The plug-in hybrid sports car maker announced in December 2012 that it was working with Evercore Partners Inc. to find potential investors or partners as Fisker’s chief executive seeks to raise more funds.

Sawyer, known as a turnaround consultant, is tasked to help conserve cash as Fisker seeks a buyer or a partner, a source told Automotive News.

In 2012, the US Energy Department withdrew its loan for Fisker, depriving the carmaker of over $300 million in funds. Fisker expects to receive first-round bids by early February, two people privy with the matter disclosed. One of the sources quipped that if the carmaker fails to find a partner or raise funds by mid-2013, Fisker risks having cash shortage. Fisker’s current investors could also infuse more funds into the plug-in hybrid sports car maker.

According to the source, Chinese and global carmakers have expressed interest in Fisker. Some interested parties hope to become Fisker’s strategic partners, while others intend to acquire the carmaker and the brand. There are also some interested parties who are just interested in Fisker’s technology.

Ormisher remarked that Fisker is making “prudent business decisions” to help secure an alliance or partnership. Fisker’s spokesman said that the plug-in hybrid sports car maker still owes around $200 million from the loan program of the Energy Department. The company’s problems heightened when its battery supplier, A123 Systems Inc., filed for bankruptcy in October 2012, thereby stopping the assembly of the Fisker Karma advanced plug-in hybrid.

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