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DongFeng Said to Be Lead Bidder in Fisker Takeover

Chinese state-owned automaker reportedly offering to buy 80% of plug-in electric luxury sedan.

Published: 21-Feb-2013

Fisker Automotive, an electric-car company that has raised about $1.2 billion in venture capital and about $192 million in federal government loans, has now received three firm offers from potential acquirers.

Dongfeng Motor, a Chinese state-owned automaker, is currently the lead bidder, a person close to the situation said. Dongfeng has offered to buy about 80% of Fisker for about $350 million, the person said. Negotiations are ongoing and terms may change, the person added. Attempts to reach Dongfeng weren’t successful.

The Anaheim, Calif.-based company, which makes a luxury plug-in hybrid car, began exploring acquisition and strategic partnership paths last year, as it strained to continue funding an ambitious business plan. The company hired investment bank Evercore Partners to help find investors.

The price that Dongfeng is offering is a far cry from the valuation of about $1.8 billion at which some investors bought shares in Fisker a few years ago, according to another person familiar with those terms. Since then the car company has run into numerous challenges and hasn’t met its sales projections.

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