Workers at California car company Fisker Automotive said most of the company's
workers were handed possibly their final checks and sent home Friday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the company laid off 160 out of 200 workers, keeping about 40 as it struggles to find an investor to pump new cash into the company.
In March, the maker of the $110,000 plug-in hybrid Karma -- its only model -- retained bank law firm Kirkland & Ellis to help stir up options to keep the company going.
Fisker is courting three Chinese companies with hopes of securing an investment, the Times reported.
"They pulled back another layer as they try to work out a last-minute deal. They need to do a deal quickly and they know it and are working on it," said Mike Sullivan, who owns a Fisker dealership in Southern California.
The company is attempting to raise $500 million, the Times said. It has been struggling since its lithium-ion battery supplier A123 Systems Inc., filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
Reportedly, any new financing deal is contingent on regaining access to a U.S. Department of Energy loan that was frozen, which gave the company a severe cash-flow problem.
Fisker owes the government $192 million. The first payment on that debt is due the end of April, the Times said.
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