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Fisker Automotive Expands Latest Financing Round to $133 Million

Fisker Automotive Inc., the startup maker of plug-in hybrid luxury sports cars, doubled the amount of private equity investment sought in its latest financing round as it seeks funds to increase production.

The $66 million funding brings the total amount of private investment in the Anaheim, California based company to more than $766 million, according to company spokesman Roger Ormisher. It adds to the $67 million raised as part of the same financing round, according to a Dec. 1 filing, and follows the $305 million the company received in earlier investments this year.

“In the current market situation, we thought it prudent to continue this policy and raise money that was potentially available,” Fisker said today in an e-mailed statement. The company has expanded its target for the latest round to $300 million from $150 million.

Fisker, whose existing backers include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors LLC, and lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems Inc, plans to start preparing for an initial public offering after starting deliveries to customers, Chief Executive Officer Henrik Fisker told Bloomberg TV in November 2010.

The company has investments from Asia and the Middle East, Ormisher said. He wouldn’t name the investors in the current round of financing.

The Irvine, California-based company began U.S. shipments of its Karma model vehicles in October from Valmet Automotive Oy’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The $88,000 plug-in hybrids have one lithium-ion battery that powers two electric motors for as far as 50 miles (80 kilometers). A gasoline-powered engine can power the motors to extend the range an additional 250 miles.

Fisker plans to make its cheaper Nina model cars at a former General Motors Co. factory in Wilmington, Delaware, after converting it with private funding and $529 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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