August 13, 2014 10:37:01 AM
Struggling biofuel firm KiOR says in a financial filing that it will run out of money by September and bankruptcy could follow.
The company, which built a refinery on The Island in Columbus to turn wood chips into oil, owes Mississippi $69.4 million. The Mississippi Development Authority has agreed to delay payments until the end of October to give the Texas-based company time to raise new money or sell the company. Investment bank Guggenheim Partners was hired by KiOR to seek a buyer or new investors.
"Without additional financing the Company will be unable to fund its operations and meets its obligations past approximately September 30, 2014," KiOR stated in a Monday stock filing.
The company had $544,000 in cash on July 31.
In June, the company laid off roughly 18 workers, leaving about 55. Today, there are 14 employees at the facility.
"No further layoffs are being contemplated at this time," KiOR officials told The Dispatch on Tuesday.
Entities controlled by billionaire backer Vinod Khosla have been lending the company enough money to stay alive, in order to "preserve, protect and prepare for the sale or disposition of the company's collateral" and to "enhance the likelihood and maximize the amount of repayment" of existing debts.
Debt actually fell to $250 million, as a lender wrote off nearly $39 million that the company owed. The company has spent a total of $629 million since it was founded, but says it would need to raise as much as $60 million to keep going for another 12 months, even if it didn't try to restart operations in Columbus.
KiOR has said Guggenheim should complete its work by Oct. 31, the same time that KiOR's forbearance agreement with Mississippi runs out. Under it, KiOR paid $250,000 to the Mississippi Development Authority and MDA allowed KiOR to delay a $1.9 million payment on KiOR's no-interest loan from the state.
Dispatch reporter William Browning contributed to this report.
1. Caledonia student gets free car for college COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Mississippi menagerie: Steens resident converts old home into public attraction COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Juneteenth organizers may cancel festival COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY