Exclusive: LeEco Founder Jia Yueting’s Generous Financing Plan, or Escape Plan?
摘要： To wrap up, “thanks to Jia Yueting”, both Le.com in China and FF in the U.S. have already been deeply caught in debt. At the same time, however, he himself and his asset seemed to be quite intact. How could FF’s debtors sit back and look unconcerned?
All the supporting evidence the insider mentioned in this report have been verified by relevant investors.
Not surprisingly, Liang Jun, the new CEO of Le.com after Jia Yueting’s departure, resigned again the other days. It is said that Liang resigned because he failed to win the favor from Sun Hongbin, who invested RMB 16.8 billion in Le.com in times of the debt scandal and later became the new chairman of Le.com.
Based in Hong Kong, I received Le.com’s financing plan from Mr. Jia’s Hong Kong agent around August or September. Basically, it was a financing plan about Faraday Future (FF), a company established and controlled by Jia himself. This plan will be hereafter referred to as “Project X”.
The reason I came to TMTPost to share what I know about Mr. Jia and Le.com is that I’ve read two other reports via TMTPost: "Zhao Hejuan: Will LeEco Tumble Like D'Long Did?" and "Zhao Hejuan: Connected Transaction, The Nature of LeEco's Bogus Boom". Before these reports, Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SSE) had never issued any letter of inquiry against Le.com; after these reports spread widely on the internet, SSE soon issued several letters of inquiry over “connected interaction”. It is safe to say that the public became aware of Le.com’s “scandal” thanks to TMTPost’s careful investigation and detailed analysis.
I was especially impressed by something Hejuan Zhao, founder and CEO of TMTPost, said in the report:
“While greed is disguised as noble sentiments, we are infatuated by it.”
Nevertheless, I refused to accept the financing plan because it is more like a “bankruptcy and disposal plan in the U.S.” than a “financing plan”. I bet that Jia still failed to find a bucker in the U.S. for FF up till now. After all, according to the “financing plan” I received, Jia should have received the investment by August and changed the legal status of the company by November, so that the new “investor” would have gained total control over FF by then. However, we didn’t hear of any new move yet.
Anyhow, the “financing plan” sounds perfect.
While Song Hongbin was busy handling the mess left by Jia Yueting, pretending that everything was fine and he could handle them well, no Chinese investors will dare to get involved in this mess. American investors, however, were even more shrewd in this matter and declined any offer for financing even before things began to tumble down at FF, let alone after the scandal.
This July, Jia resigned from all his posts at Le.com. From the aspect of Sun, Jia was severing any connection with the listed part of Le.com; from the aspect of Jia, however, this might give him the best opportunity to run away from any troubles. While Jia burst into tears and went to the U.S. to achieve his auto dream, Sun promised he could handle Le.com well when sending him off. This August, Jia released a video about FF91 factory via Sina Weibo, saying that “FF U Factory was just under construction. The future is near”. Later, he revealed that SEE Plan was also on the way. On August 31st, Jia made it clear that he would again “Dream On and All In”.
For the past few months, Jia would show up FF’s progress via Sina Weibo from time to time.
However, the truth is: on the one hand, Jia was making up all kinds of plans about FF; on the other hand, he was busy filing for bankruptcy from the U. S. Federal Bankruptcy Court, in an attempt to sell the company to other investors via bankruptcy & restructuring. What a perfect plan! On the surface, Jia was still trying to win sympathy from the public; as a matter of fact, however, he was desperate to sell the company and quit the game.
In fact, Faraday Future has stopped operation and manufacturing for a long while. Nobody knows for sure what exactly its thousands of employees are doing during this period of time. In any account, FF is like a shadow company. Some of my friends paid a visit to the factory and were amazed at the huge difference between its real situation and what Jia revealed to the public. What Jia was busy filing for was actually DIP Financing, a bankruptcy & restructuring plan for companies that were caught in severe debt crisis and cash flow quagmire.
Relevant provisions can be found in Chapter 7 (Bankruptcy) and Chapter 11 (Bankruptcy & Restructuring) of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
Basically, “bankruptcy & restructuring” is like a legal procedure. Once the procedure starts, a legal mechanism called “automatic stay” will be initiated and the debtors will be temporarily forbidden to retrieve their asset from the company. At the same time, any legal appeals against the company will be forbidden. In most cases, the company will have to wait after the procedure is completed and win the permission from designated courts to remove the procedure.
In other words, “bankruptcy & restructuring” allows companies to maintain operation while filing for bankruptcy protection and cease the obligation to repay any debt. If DIP Financing can be completed, then debtors will become stakeholders. If not, however, the debtors will have to bear any upcoming outcome.
Therefore, whether investors who were “disguised” by FF and participated in the financing of Le Car, or individual investors who participated in the early stage financing of Le Car, you should really open your eyes and realize: Jia was not carrying with him a financing plan of FF to achieve his auto dream. On the contrary, he was trying to ensure his own pocket through a bankruptcy & restructuring plan.
While Jia pointed out in the “financing plan” that “brand” and “team” were two of the biggest assets of FF, both of them were gone till now. Most its senior executives have already left, while its brand was already closely connected with concepts such as “liar”. According to the “financing plan”, new investors will invest $ 150 million in the company and hold 85 per cent stake in exchange, while its debtors and team members and employees will hold the rest 15 per cent. What about Jia Yueting, then?
To wrap up, “thanks to Jia Yueting”, both Le.com in China and FF in the U.S. have already been deeply caught in debt. At the same time, however, he himself and his asset seemed to be quite intact.
How could FF’s debtors sit back and look unconcerned? As a matter of fact, they have already been filing lawsuits against FF. Record of all these lawsuits, including one between FF’s landlord and FF, can be found on the official website of the U.S. court.
So, where is Mr. Jia, exactly? I didn’t see him in Hong Kong, at least. Some friends of mine also received similar documents from his agents. However, none of us have ever seen him in flesh. At the same time, we didn’t hear anybody see him in the U.S., let alone back in China.
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @Passer-By Mobile, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.