Green car startup Fisker aims to secure foreign partner

Fisker

Fisker Automotive has received serious offers from at least three overseas automakers willing to invest in and partner with the cash-strapped U.S. hybrid maker, which hopes to finalize a deal within weeks, people familiar with the matter said.

Potential suitors for the green-car startup include at least two Chinese automakers and one European company, two sources said. Fisker is hoping to sew up a deal by mid-March, another source said.

Fisker is looking to raise between $200 million and $300 million, and sources said it could wind up forming a strategic pact with two or more partners.

"The company has received detailed proposals from multiple parties in different continents which are now being evaluated by the company and its advisers," Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said in an email. He declined to comment further.

A strategic pact would give Fisker the funds to build its second model, the Atlantic plug-in hybrid. Such a deal is also important to gain favor with investors after a string of recalls and financial setbacks cast doubt on Fisker's survival.

Over the past several months, Chief Executive Tony Posawatz and other Fisker executives have met with several investors and automakers, particularly in China. Executives met with officials from several Chinese automakers, including Dongfeng Motor , Geely Auto and Beijing Auto, sources said.

Officials from those companies were not immediately available to comment.

The company has also held discussions with Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts maker that has since purchased bankrupt U.S. lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems, Fisker's primary battery supplier.

ATLANTIC SEDAN IS CRITICAL

The search for financial backers comes after a tough 2012 marred by the rocky and delayed introduction of Fisker's first car, the $100,000-plus Karma, A123's bankruptcy, and an election that turned the U.S. government-backed company into a political punching bag.

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