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A123 to the Chinese?

December 12, 2012 in batteries, Companies, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Wanxiang America Outbids JCI, Judge Says OK

It looks as if A123 Systems, and its Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate battery technology and factories, will be acquired by Wanxiang America Corp, which has substantially outbid Johnson Controls, Inc.

Happier days — A123’s big display at EVS-24, the world electric vehicles show in Stavanger, Norway in May 2009

Elgin, Ill.-based Wanxiang America has offered $256.6 million for A123, more than double the $125 purchase by Johnson Controls, Inc. announced in October (F&F, October 17). A federal bankruptcy judge approved the Wanxiang bid Tuesday.

Wanxiang would acquire A123’s automotive, grid and commercial business assets, including all technology, products, customer contracts and U.S. facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri; its cathode powder manufacturing operations in China; and its equity interest in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems, A123’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive.

A123 facility in Livonia, Mich. would go to Wanxiang America.

“Receiving court approval of our asset purchase agreement with Wanxiang and Navitas is an important step toward finalizing the sale of A123’s assets, and we are now focused on CFIUS approval of the sale to Wanxiang, which we are confident that we will receive given the structure of this transaction,” A123 CEO Dave Vieau said in a release.

‘Strengthen Our Competitive Position’

“We believe an acquisition by Wanxiang will provide A123 with the financial support necessary to strengthen our competitive position in the global vehicle electrification, grid energy storage and other markets, and we look forward to completing the sale,” Vieau.

The transaction remains subject to approval by CFIUS, the federal government’s multi-agency Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States. It excepts A123’s Ann Arbor, Mich.-based government business and contracts, which would be acquired for $2.25 million by Navitas Systems through a separate asset purchase agreement.

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A123 automotive, Jeff Kessen, 734-772-0345 or 734-772-0300; mobile 857-366-1009; [email protected];

Wanxiang America, GM Michael Schaal, 847-622-8838; [email protected];

Wanxiang EV (China), Mr. Yang Bing, +86-571-8286-1078; fax +86-571-8260-6590; [email protected];

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Source: A123 Systems with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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