Infinia Seeks Voluntary Chapter 11; Atlas is Stalking Horse Bidder
Infinia announced that the inability to obtain additional financing has forced the company to file a petition for Chapter 11 relief as it seeks to preserve the value of its business. The petition was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Utah. Atlas Global Holdings, made an offer to buy Infinia’s assets for an amount equal to the amount it is lending the company under a debtor in possession financing arrangement.
Infinia saw strong growth in the first half of 2013 and traction in North America with the ongoing installation of a 1.5 megawatt project at Tooele Army Base in Tooele, UT, and nearly 200 MW of projects under development in the Mediterranean region. However, the company could not achieve full-scale operations rapidly enough to start generating positive cash-flow.
Therefore its lead lender, Atlas Global Holdings, has made an offer to buy Infinia’s assets for an amount equal to the amount it is currently lending the company under a debtor in possession financing arrangement.
Mike Ward, Infinia’s president and CEO said, “This has been a difficult step for Infinia. After carefully considering the available alternatives, the company’s board of directors determined that the Chapter 11 filing was in the best interest of the Company and its stakeholders. This process enables Infinia to continue limited business operations while we pursue a speedy auction of the company. We are incredibly proud of our employees, and we would like to thank our investors, development partners, customers and suppliers, for the years of support that allowed us to bring our innovative technology to market. We expect that a new buyer will emerge and assist us as we continue to bring our very efficient free-piston Stirling engine technology to market.”
To this end, the company has retained a core workforce of approximately 30 people, including engineers, production, sales and service staff with the intent to continue mission-critical operations to support its PowerDish solar array installation at the Tooele Army Depot and continued development of its next generation free-piston Stirling engine able to run on multiple fuels.
Under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, the sale process allows a buyer to purchase its assets “free and clear” of all prior liabilities if the Bankruptcy Court approves the sale. As part of the bankruptcy filing, Infinia has executed an asset purchase agreement with Atlas Global Holdings which is acting as a “stalking horse bidder,” at a price of $6 million, subject to higher and better bids. The Chapter 11 case was filed in Utah on September 17, 2013 (Case No. 13-30688), and after an M&A re-marketing process that has just begun; a deadline of October 31, 2013, has been proposed for submission of higher or better offers.
Infinia intends to work with all key parties to conduct an orderly process to maximize its asset value and to conclude its Chapter 11 case in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. The filing will provide Infinia with the resources and time to strengthen its capital structure. Infinia expects that its management team will continue to lead the company during this restructuring period.
George Hoffman at the law firm of Parsons Kinghorn Harris at is handling the bankruptcy. John McKenna at the investment bank of Hamilton Clark Sustainable Capital is handling the asset sale.
Ogden, UT-based Infinia is an energy technology company developing and manufacturing high-efficiency, free-piston Stirling engines that convert readily available and low-cost heat sources such as solar, biogas and natural gas into reliable on- or off-grid electricity.