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Johnson Controls withdrew from A123 Systems bankruptcy auction

9 December 2012

Following the announcement by A123 Systems that it that reached agreement to sell most of its assets to Wanxiang for $256.6 million (earlier post), Johnson Controls announced that it had officially withdrawn from the bankruptcy auction when it declined to match the higher bid submitted by Wanxiang. Johnson Controls and NEC had submitted complementary bids, Johnson Controls for the automotive and government assets and NEC for the grid and commercial assets.

Johnson Controls originally made a $125-million bid for A123’s automotive business. (Earlier post.)

The final sale to Wanxiang is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court. A hearing is currently scheduled for 11 December. Sale to Wanxiang is also subject to review by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and requires approval by the US government.

While A123’s automotive and government assets were complementary to Johnson Controls’ portfolio and aligned with our long-term goals, Wanxiang’s offer was beyond the value of those assets to Johnson Controls. Reports by other parties that our proposal involved an elimination of jobs in Michigan are inaccurate.

—Alex Molinaroli, president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions

Johnson Controls launched the first US facility to produce complete Li-ion battery cells and packs for hybrid and electric vehicles, in Holland, Mich. The company was recently named as one of the industry leaders in the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research $120-million energy research hub led by Argonne National Lab and funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). (Earlier post.) In 2009, Johnson Controls was awarded a $299-million matching grant by the DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to build domestic manufacturing capacity for advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

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