Dec 10, 2012 - US lithium ion batteries maker A123 Systems Inc, which filed for bankruptcy in October, said Sunday it had reached a deal to sell almost all of its assets for USD 256.6 million (EUR 199m) to a US unit of Chinese automotive components maker Wanxiang Group.
A123, whose products are also used to ensure grid stability as renewable power generation globally is growing, said that as the total purchase price for its assets would be below the sum owed to creditors, it did not expect any recoveries for its shareholders. A123's government business is excluded from the deal with Wanxiang America Corp and will be acquired by Illinois-based Navitas Systems for USD 2.25 million.
The deal was reached after an auction overseen by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Meanwhile, Johnson Controls said Sunday it had withdrawn from the bankruptcy auction after refusing to match Wanxiang's higher bid. Wanxiang's proposal has been picked as the best offer over competing complementary bids by Johnson Controls and Japanese NEC.
Wanxiang is to take over A123's automotive, grid and commercial business assets. These include all technology, products, customer contracts and US plants in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri. It will also acquire A123's cathode powder manufacturing business in China and its stake in the Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co joint venture with Shanghai Automotive.
Wanxiang America president Pin Ni said the purchase was in line with the company's strategy to invest in the automotive and cleantech sectors in the US. The transaction is subject to approval from the court, with a hearing being scheduled for December 11, as well as approval from the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.775)
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