DETROIT/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fisker Automotive, the green-car company that has not built a car since July, hired restructuring lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis to prepare for a possible bankruptcy filing, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The cash-strapped automaker, which furloughed its more than 200 U.S. workers this week to conserve cash, has been exploring bankruptcy as an option, while it continues to look for a strategic partner, two people briefed on the matter said.
A Fisker spokesman declined to comment on the possibility of a bankruptcy restructuring.
On April 22, Fisker must make a payment on a U.S. Department of Energy loan.
In 2009, Fisker won a $529 million federal loan as part of an Obama administration program to spur advanced vehicle development. Fisker drew down $193 million before the Department of Energy barred the company from accessing further funds, citing delays in the launch of its flagship car, the Karma plug-in hybrid.
Fisker had been in strategic talks with two Chinese automakers, Dongfeng Motor Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit and Paul Lienert in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)