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Indiana electric car company gets new owner

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A company that has been making electric cars at a northern Indiana factory has a new owner, giving local officials more confidence in its future.

Think North America spokesman Brendan Prebo said the company's assets are being transferred to the buyer. The company intends to get the necessary auto parts and resume production at the factory in Elkhart in 2012.

Production has been halted there since at least April because of the financial troubles that led Norway-based Think Global to seek bankruptcy protection last month.

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said he feels much better about the factory's prospects.

Think started initial production in Elkhart last year. The company planned for the factory to have some 400 workers by 2013 making about 2,500 cars annually, but now has 11 employees on its payroll.

New York-based Ener1 Inc., which engineers and makes batteries in the Indianapolis area at its EnerDel subsidiary, had a $73 million stake in Think, but told investors in May that it would write off its losses.

Think said the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee selected Russian entrepreneur Boris Zingarevich as the winning bidder for the company.

Zingarevich has been a major investor in Ener1 since 2002 and provided bridge funding for Think while the company attempted a reorganization before filing for bankruptcy.

A statement from the company says Zingarevich has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ener1 and Finnish manufacturer Valmet Automotive Inc. to cooperate in relaunching Think. 

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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