Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, a maker of alternative fuel-storage tanks for the trucking industry, has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it would pursue a buyer through the Chapter 11 process.
The Lake Forest, Calif., company estimated in court papers it has $23 million in assets and about $22 million in debt to hundreds of creditors. Douglas Acquisitions, an affiliate of an existing second-position secured creditor, has agreed to provide $6 million in financing to help keep Quantum afloat while it is in bankruptcy.
“The company intends for the Chapter 11 filing to enable it to seek an acquirer” through an expeditious sale under section 363 of the U.S Bankruptcy Code, Quantum said in a news release.
The statute allows a purchaser to acquire the assets of a debtor free and clear of any liens and encumbrances. Quantum did not specify which of its assets are up for sale.
As the Orange County Register reports, “Quantum’s history has followed the roller-coaster highs and lows of the clean tech industry.” Before betting on fuel systems and storage tanks for vehicles fitted for compressed natural gas fuel, it worked on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for General Motors and on engineering drive trains for battery electric cars.
Quantum had signed contracts for its CNG systems with major trucking firms such as Ryder. The fuel-storage enabled trucks to travel up to 1,000 miles without refueling.
“Quantum has seen the boom and the bust for clean tech,” Brian Kremer, an investment banker at Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach who led three financing rounds for the firm, told the Register in a November 2014 article.
In trading Wednesday, Quantum shares were down more than 50%, at 17 cents. The stock peaked, on a split-adjusted basis, at $736 in 2004.