Troubled cellulosic company gets $25M lifeline

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Imperiled biofuel company KiOR Inc. has staved off bankruptcy for now with a $25 million lifeline from venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.Khosla’s cash will be paid in monthly installments of $5 million, KiOR said today in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.KiOR — which last year became the first U.S. company to produce commercial quantities of cellulosic gasoline and diesel — has been dogged by financial trouble.

Last month, KiOR said it was on the brink of bankruptcy and in danger of defaulting on loans. KiOR said it would idle its Columbus, Miss., plant indefinitely and reported a net loss of $347.5 million as of Dec. 31 (Greenwire, March 21).

The funding from Khosla Ventures, which has backed the company since KiOR formed in 2007, will allow KiOR to make plant improvements, according to an SEC filing. But the funding will only allow it to continue operations until Aug. 31 unless another source of financing is found.

KiOR’s stock rose more than 60 percent today on the Khosla news. But shares were still trading below $1 this afternoon and down 80 percent compared to a year ago.