Electric-car company Faraday Future and the state of Nevada appear to be hitting some gridlock.
The two entities announced an agreement late last year to build Faraday Future’s first manufacturing plant in Las Vegas. Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting from the tech company, Leshi, is among the backers expected to invest $1 billion in the project.
But now, Nevada’s state treasurer says he’s worried about Leshi’s financial health, and the fate of that seven-figure investment.
According to the Las Vegas radio station, KNPR, treasurer Dan Schwartz planned to meet with Faraday Future’s Chinese investors last week, because of a couple concerns:
Shares of Leshi stopped trading in China
In early December, shares of Leshi were pulled from the Chinese stock market due to an internal reorganization, KNPR reported. The radio station notes that trading was supposed to pick back up shortly after the pause, but it has reportedly been delayed until March 7.
The uncertainty surrounding Leshi has Schwartz asking questions. He told KNPR that if he’s going to “issue and sign $175 million in general obligation bonds to finance the [Faraday Future] project … I want to feel comfortable that the Nevada taxpayer is protected.”
The money appears to be delayed
Speaking about Jia’s allegedly delayed $1 billion commitment, Schwartz told Reno radio station KUNR he needs reassurance that the funds are “personally available” to Jia, and that the money needs to be “sitting in a US bank account ready to be invested in Faraday.”
Despite his candor, Schwartz said he still supports the project, and wants to make sure that “building the factory will proceed” as intended.
In December, Faraday Future’s VP of manufacturing, Dag Reckhorn, and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval shook hands on the plant deal.
“Our plan is to invest $1 billion dollars in a 3-million-square-foot facility on approximately 900 acres,” Reckhorn said at the time.
The plant, which is expected to be the first site of Faraday Future’s global manufacturing operations, would bring about 4,500 jobs to the region, according to Faraday.
We’ve asked Faraday Future for comment on this story. We’ll update this post when we hear back.
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