De Lorean Motor Co. agreed today to sell virtually its entire United States' assets plus the right to distribute 1,094 stainless steel sports cars in Northern Ireland to Consolidated International.
In an out-of-court settlement, De Lorean Motor Co. gave up its battle for the rights to 649 of the gull-winged autos to which Consolidated, based in Columbus, Ohio, holds title.
Federal Bankruptcy Court Judge George Woods is scheduled Nov. 8 to make a final ruling on the settlement.
Attorneys for the auto maker would not disclose the financial aspects of the settlement. But Consolidated reported a bid Sunday of "a substantial sum" to DMC's receivers for a 45-day option to acquire a 99-year lease on the sports car company's Northern Ireland plant.
The purchase of De Lorean Motor's U.S. and British assets reportedly would cost Consolidated $80 million. The company specializes in buying inventories of bankrupt or struggling firms.
Demand for the autos has skyrocketed since John Z. De Lorean's arrest last month on federal drug charges. The cars have a sticker price of $26,000, but some dealers are getting up to $10,000 more.
The two sides last week clashed in federal bankruptcy court over 649 cars located in New Jersey and California, valued at $17.5 million, which were among 1,191 purchased by Consolidated earlier this year.
De Lorean Motor Co. claimed an agreement allowed the company to buy back the cars if it filed for bankruptcy, which it did Oct. 25.
However, attorneys from both sides met in Columbus Sunday and reached the settlement late today. Sol Shenk, the president of Consolidated, said he was "satisfied" with the arrangement.
Under the terms of the settlement, presented to Woods, De Lorean Motor Co. agreed to give up its claim to the 649 sports cars. It said De Lorean dealers would place orders for the autos with Consolidated and its partner, Group Investors Inc.
In addition, Consolidated also will take over the distribution rights to the 1,094 autos in Britain as well as De Lorean's parts inventory located in New Jersey and California.