Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems LLC, a newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Wanxiang America Corporation, has acquired substantially all of the non-government business assets of bankrupt A123 Systems, Inc.
Included in the acquisition, which has received approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), are A123’s automotive, grid and commercial business assets, including technology, products, customer contracts and U.S. facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri; its manufacturing operations in China; and its equity interest in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co., A123’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive. Excluded from the acquisition is A123’s Ann Arbor, Mich.-based government business, including contracts with the US military, which were acquired by Navitas Systems LLC.
We are excited to add A123 Systems to our growing portfolio of companies as we continue to expand on our strategy of investing in the automotive and cleantech industries in the US. A123 will continue to offer cutting-edge technology for vehicle electrification and grid-scale energy storage, strong manufacturing and systems engineering capabilities and a world-class R&D team. Wanxiang America will continue to foster the technologies A123 has worked so hard to develop, and we believe this combination positions A123 for long-term success. We’d also like to thank Dave Vieau for his years of dedication and service to A123.—Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America
A123 Systems LLC is targeting three core business areas: transportation, electric grid and lead-acid replacement. In addition, A123 will continue operating its existing manufacturing facilities in China.
Transportation. In addition to its position in commercial vehicles and its presence in passenger car high-voltage systems, A123 Systems LLC will seek to capitalize on the increasing market opportunity for its technology in low-voltage applications, including start-stop micro-hybrid battery systems.
The new company is also committed to continue executing on previously announced customer agreements introducing next-generation vehicles to market, including the ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5 HEVs from BMW, the Chevrolet Spark EV from General Motors, and the Roewe 550 plug-in HEV and Roewe E50 EV from Shanghai Automotive, China’s largest automaker.
Electric Grid. A123 Systems LLC will continue providing energy storage solutions and services designed to significantly improve the operational reliability, economic viability and efficiency of electric power grids.
Lead-Acid Replacement. A123 Systems LLC will continue to service key strategic customers by supplying lithium-ion battery solutions designed to deliver higher performance, longer life and lower total cost of ownership as compared with traditional battery chemistries for industrial, commercial and consumer applications.
Distributions to creditors of the old bankrupt A123 Systems will be made pursuant to a liquidating plan or other process, in either case under the supervision and with the approval of the Bankruptcy Court.
The old A123 Systems stock is continuing to trade, despite the fact that the common stock is not expected to have value after the asset sales. After the sales close and the bankruptcy process is complete, the common stock will be cancelled and A123 will “go dark” by making a filing with the SEC that will officially terminate the registration of the stock.