Energy Company Files for Bankruptcy
Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A company whose subsidiary won a $118 million grant from the Energy Department filed for bankruptcy Thursday, the third government-backed energy company to go broke in recent months.
The New York-based battery maker won praise from Vice President Joseph R. Biden last year. He toured the company's Indiana plant and said Ener1 Inc. was building a brighter, cleaner and more prosperous American future.
In an announcement on Thursday, the company blamed the move on slower-than-expected demand for lithium ion batteries because of lower than expected adoption for electric passenger vehicles.
This was a difficult but necessary decision for our company, said Alex Sorokin, the company's chief executive officer.
The company said it had initiated a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York and expects to complete the restructuring process in 45 days.
Ener1 listed $73.9 million in assets and $90.5 million in total debt in its bankruptcy filing. Ener1 describes itself as a holding company for several foreign and domestic subsidiaries that are engaged in the research, development and production of rechargeable batteries and battery packs. The Energy Department awarded the grant to a company subsidiary named EnerDel, which did not file for bankruptcy.
The Washington Times reported on Ener1 in a 2009 article noting that much of the $2.4 billion in federal grant money awarded through the federal stimulus program went to companies with ties to places as far away as Russia, China, South Korea and France.
In the case of Ener1, The Times reported on the company's financial ties to Russian industrialist Boris Zingarevich. …