Tuesday, January 14, 2014

KIOR Khosla and Alberta

KIOR has dropped in value since the management call and now the Wall Street analysts are finally calling the company as it is.  I call it a zombie company with Vinod Khosla and his friend Bill Gates able to keep the corpse on life support.  The Province of Alberta that loaned the company money last year is probably headed for the door. 

One possible scenario is that Khosla and Gates may take the company into Chapter 11 and then take it private.   They will pay off the loans made by the state of Mississippi maybe in full or maybe at a discount.  The shareholders who bought stock will get bupkis except what they recover in class action law suits.   Under this scenario Khosla and Gates will keep funding slow low cost reduced operations and will say look Uncle Sam we put our money where our mouth is and we continue to try.   The labor force in Columbus is 100 strong and probably costs $600,000 a month so they will be kept on for some time and they may have attrition and some staff reduction.

The US government DOE or USDA can play no role and big oil will probably not step up to buy the gangrene company.   The Qataris or other petro wealthy folks may lend Khosla and Gates a hand but they are probably too scared to come in now with all the law suits.   The Chinese will not waste time on this but I may be wrong and some Chinese group comes in at low cost for the suite of patents Kior has.   A replay of AONE.

The story of Kior will be forgotten by most and Vinod Cost Us may finally become as quiet as Al Gore when it comes to matters green.  Condi will play her piano and continue to mis-educate a whole new generation at Stanford.  The Green Machine will focus on more positive developments in the world. 

Of course I could be completely wrong and the $10 million of new CAPEX and $23 million of research will turn the company around and each year 13 million gallons of diesel will be produced from the 500 tons a day of bone dry pine.  Of course for the sake of the 100 workers and the folks who bought KIOR at $15 a share at its IPO I hope I am wrong.  But I think KIOR as a stock stands for Keep It Operating Rarely.