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Struggling EV startup Mullen bids for bankrupt Electric Last Mile

Troubled EV startup Mullen Automotive Inc. has emerged as the leading bidder for the assets of bankrupt competitor Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc., including a now-idle former Hummer SUV factory in Indiana.

Brea, Calif.-based Mullen agreed to a stalking horse bid of “almost $100 million in total consideration,” according to a Sept. 16 filing by the trustee in Troy, Mich.-based Electric Last Mile’s Chapter 7 case. Competing bids are due by Oct. 3, and an auction is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Details of the offer come after Mullen, which aims to bring EVs to market including a compact SUV and a sports car, announced it was acquiring a majority stake in rival Bollinger Motors, based in Oak Park, Mich., in a cash-and-stock transaction.

Mullen didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The companies are among a number of EV startups struggling to break through in a market dominated by Tesla Inc. at a time of overstretched supply chains and high costs. One day after the Bollinger deal was announced, Mullen, whose stock has declined about 90 percent this year, revealed it had fallen out of compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum share price requirements.

The trustee has said that as many as 245 potential strategic or financial parties were solicited for the assets of Electric Last Mile, which filed for bankruptcy in June, and that 39 of those have executed non-disclosure agreements to perform due diligence and potentially make a bid. Securing Mullen as a stalking horse bidder “represents a tremendous benefit to the debtors’ estates and creditors,” he wrote in Friday’s filing.

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