Friday, August 23, 2013

KIOR IPO and DOE Money

I had this nagging feeling somewhere in the back of my brain that Condi Rice’s company KIOR had some DOE money for the alchemy of making diesel from wood.

I remember back in February 2011 KIOR boasted they had reached agreement with the Department of Entropy for a billion dollar loan and that the company and the US DOE had signed a term sheet.

Quoting KIOR

February 3, 2011
KiOR Receives Loan Guarantee Term Sheet for Over $1 Billion Project From U.S. Department of Energy
PASADENA, TX (February 3, 2011) – KiOR, Inc., announced today that it has received a term sheet for a loan guarantee supporting an over $1 billion biofuels project from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Guarantee Program. The project would convert wood biomass into drop in biofuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel.

But by May 2011 the company dropped the idea of borrowing money from the DOE in the year 2011.  This per Gigaom:

“There will be no loan guarantee for recently public biofuel company KiOR, at least this year. According to correspondence with the SEC, KiOR put its application for 2011 on hold in May, with plans to roll it over to 2012 — assuming the program gets funded for 2012.”
Kior went with their IPO on June 24, 2011 and raised $150 million from the public offering.

Now we have the timeline from February 2011 till late June 2011 when KIOR and the DOE dropped or postponed the government loans and the company took $150 million from the unsuspecting public.  Perhaps there are documents at the DOE that show the DOE got cold feet about the KIOR alchemy?  You have to remember that Solyndra was crumbling right in front of Dr. Chu and his Department of Entropy.  Solyndra went bankrupt on September 1, 2011.

I do hope that the lawyers who have suits against KIOR and its board and officers go after any information as to why the DOE got cold feet on loaning money to KIOR in May 2011 when they had executed a term sheet with the company three months earlier.  There has to be a reason why KIOR did not get the ultra-cheap Obama money.   It would be interesting to find out that the DOE had doubts about KIOR’s alchemy and yet the company went ahead with an IPO in June. 

Condi Rice joined the board of KIOR the beginning of July 2011 but the news of her joining the board was made on June 22, 2011 a few days before the IPO

Now if KIOR was not brought to you by Vinod Khosla and Condi Rice and it had not agreed to DOE loans and then the loans mysteriously disappeared as Solyndra was crumbling one may say all these date are simply coincidence.  I think the lawyers who are suing KIOR and officers and directors about false statements regarding production from the Columbus Mississippi facility should also investigate the IPO and the DOE loan that disappeared just before the IPO.  Vinod Khosla would have loved that “cheap Obama money” so the loan did not disappear because the interest rate was too high.  The loan disappeared most probably because the DOE realized the alchemy would not work.

Condi may think KIOR made cellulosic fuel a “reality” I happen to think the whole thing was a fake out from day one.  I smelled that rat way back in June 2011 and blogged about it.