Kior Considers Selling Itself After Missing Loan Payment

Kior Inc., a biofuel producer backed by billionaires Vinod Khosla and Bill Gates, is considering selling itself after missing a $1.88 million loan payment.

The company hired Guggenheim Securities LLC to advise it on strategic options including “a possible merger, restructuring or sale of the company,” according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. Kior failed to make the semi-annual payment June 30, and has signed a forbearance agreement with the state of Mississippi.

Kior opened the first U.S. commercial-scale cellulosic biofuel plant in 2012 in Columbus, Mississippi, converting wood waste and other non-food crops into gasoline and diesel. The site never reached full capacity and production was halted in January so the company could adjust its manufacturing process.

Mississippi loaned the company $75 million in 2010 to help finance the Columbus plant. The company still owes $69.4 million, according to today’s filing. The state has agreed to a forbearance period while Kior pursues financing options.

Khosla agreed on April 1 to provide as much as $25 million to support the Pasadena, Texas-based company, spread evenly over five monthly tranches. Kior received $100 million from Khosla Ventures LLC and Gates Ventures LLC in October to expand production at its plant in Columbus, Mississippi.

Kior closed at 37 cents today in New York and has tumbled almost 98 percent since its 2011 initial public offering at $15.

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