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Chinese Battery Company Wanxiang Could Acquire A123 Systems


Wanxiang Electric Vehicle CompanyIn our ongoing coverage of the fall of the advanced rechargeable battery company, A123 Systems, we’ve seen A123’s slow decline and finally, bankruptcy proceedings. One version of their latest battery technology was supposed to go into the new Chevy Spark EV, as well as another iteration in Fisker’s next model.

Unfortunately, the market for electric vehicles just hasn’t met with predictions, leading to the failure of this relatively new company.

Johnson Controls and Fisker Automobiles were interested in A123’s bankruptcy proceedings, and it seemed that Johnson Controls was working on a plan to take over A123’s assets. However, in the final bidding, Chinese battery giant, Wanxiang, could gain control of most of A123 Systems‘ assets for $256.6 million.

Wanxiang’s bid, though, has been a little controversial, since A123 had some outstanding US military contracts as well as a $132 million grant from the government, which makes being Chinese-owned a little sketchy.

Additionally, the Wanxiang’s $256.6 million won’t be enough to pay back investors, as a press release reveals, “Because the total purchase price for A123 Systems‘ assets would be less than the total amount owed to creditors, the Company does not anticipate any recoveries for its current shareholders and believes its stock to have no value.”

This isn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last Chinese acquisition of undervalued and failing American cleantech companies. So far, Wanxiang has acquired five, and if this trend continues, we’ll probably see the continuation of the glut of Made-in-China products, including American cleantech ideas. The lack of foresight by the American consumer and US government is going to lead only to further economic losses as more American technological advances are taken offshore.

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