Fisker Automotive, maker of the Karma plug-in hybrid car, said it hired investment bank Evercore Partners Inc to search for partners and investors, but the automaker denied that a sale of the company was under consideration.
Evercore, which advised General Motors Co during its restructuring and initial public offering, was hired in the first half of the year, Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher said.
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Fisker previously said it had held discussions with potential strategic partners to cut costs and raise money to build its second model, the Atlantic.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported the hiring of Evercore based on an interview with Fisker Chief Executive Tony Posawatz. The newspaper quoted the executive as saying Evercore was hired to seek possible buyers and investors.
The report, citing unnamed sources, also said the Fisker board had reviewed the option of seeking bankruptcy protection.
Ormisher denied plans for a possible sale and said he was not aware of any discussions about a plan to seek bankruptcy protection.
"It's not true that Fisker has any kind of wind-down sale or bankruptcy plan," he told Reuters. "We are focused on the strategic alliance or partnership to move this forward."
Posawatz, Fisker's third CEO this year, is seeking to bring the Atlantic to market and revive Fisker's image after setbacks this year with the launch of the $100,000-plus Karma.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy froze the unused portion of its $529 million loan to Fisker, due in part to a delay in bringing the Karma to showrooms.
In October, Posawatz told reporters that Fisker would be interested in deals similar to its partnership with GM, which provides the engine and other components for the Karma.
Fellow green car startup Tesla Motors Inc , which launched the Model S electric car this year, draws revenue from its partnerships with Toyota Motor Co <7203.T> and Daimler AG , which are investors in the company.
(Reporting By Deepa Seetharaman and Ben Klayman; editing by John Wallace)