Norwegian plastic-car maker Pivco AS, of Oslo, which declared bankruptcy Oct. 30, gained new life on Nov. 13, when a team of partners stepped forward to create a new company and acquire all rights and assets from the defunct company. Terms were not disclosed.
Pivco founder and Chairman Jan Otto Ringdal, who owned one-third of the previous firm, is part of the new ownership group, along with Norwegian plastics processor Bakelittfabrikken AS, and former managers and employees, said Kristi Hegna Svendsen.
Svendsen, the former Pivco AS marketing manager, said in a Nov. 13 telephone interview that the group has created Pivco Industries AS ``with the intention to continue the project.''
``The company will gradually ramp up ... and the intention is to hire all former employees,'' pending the securing of the necessary additional financing, she said.
The former firm's 45 employees will be paid out of government funds until the end of December.
Former Pivco President and Chief Executive Officer Per Lilleng said that some $35 million already has been invested in the eight-year project to develop a commercially viable, two-seater electric vehicle with rotomolded high density polyethylene body panels and a vacuum-formed ABS roof. Pivco AS launched the vehicle, known as the Th!nk, on Oct. 1, and had announced plans to begin commercial production for the Norwegian market in March. Then financing ran out, Lilleng said .
The Norwegian government has invested about $12.5 million in grants and $5 million in loans in the project since 1991, and shareholders have contributed another $17.5 million, Lilleng said.
He attributed the recent crisis to two factors: the current difficult climate for raising financing on the stock market, combined with the reluctance of some of the former company's large Norwegian institutional investors to provide more funds.