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U.S. judge opens way for China’s Wanxiang bid for Fisker

The logo of an extended rage electric vehicle Fisker Karma is pictured at the start of an electric car rally from Tallinn to Monte-Carlo in Tallinn June 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Ints Kalnins

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge rejected a planned sale of Fisker Automotive to Hong Kong businessman Richard Li in favor of competitive bidding, opening the way for China’s largest auto parts company to bid for the maker of the Karma plug-in hybrid sports car.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross said on Friday competitive bidding between a company affiliated with Li and a unit of auto parts maker Wanxiang Group of China was the best way forward.

“I think that, for me, at the end of the case, whether or not the price paid was fair or reasonable, I think an auction will provide that mechanism. That is the most favored method,” Gross said. He scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) on Monday to decide how to proceed with an auction.

Gross made the ruling at a hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, that was held to determine how to proceed in Fisker’s bankruptcy.

Fisker filed for bankruptcy in November with a plan to forgo the typical route in Chapter 11 procedure of putting the business on the auction block.
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