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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Think goes belly-up, again

Long-troubled, but forerunner in the electric car industry, Think, has had to file for bankruptcy again, leaving 80 employees at Fornebu without a job and the Norwegian, British and American owners with little to show for the billions of kroner they have invested in the company.

This will be the third bankruptcy claim for the electric car company. Think was established in Aurskog northeast of Oslo in 1990, as Pivco (Personal Independent Vehicle Company) by entrepreneur Jan Otto Ringdal, and has a troubled history with rampant ownership changes and large capital investments with little returns. In 2008 the company went under public administration, and currently the largest stakeholder in the company is American technology company  Ener1, with more than 50 percent of the shares. It has been their decision to pull the plug.

Estate trustee Jo Rodin told business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), “Think has now been through this several times, and it  is likely that we have come to the end of the road.” A preliminary valuation of assets shows that not much is left in the company, about NOK 166 million in patents, storage facilities, a production pipe line in Finland as well as a few hundred unsold vehicles.

Peter Ruzicka, director of Canica, estimates that his company may have lost up to NOK 50 million (USD 9 million) on their investment, but believes that Think had the potential to be a great success if only the manufacturer had been able to access more funds earlier. “The car had a technological headstart, but then the financial crisis hit, capital markets dried up and everything was put on hold for years. By that time, other manufacturers had caught up with Think.”

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