China's Wanxiang expected to buy lithium-ion battery company

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: December 10, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 8, 2013 5:52 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Automotive, Sustainability, Materials, Mergers & Acquisitions, Suppliers

WALTHAM, MASS. (Dec. 10, 11:45 a.m. ET) — China's Wanxiang Group Corp. is expected to take over lithium-ion battery company A123 Systems Inc. now that Johnson Controls Inc. has backed out of a competing offer to buy the firm's assets in a bankruptcy auction.

A123 — with headquarters in Waltham, Mass., and battery production in Romulus, Mich., and Livonia, Mich. — entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in October, with a plan in place for JCI to buy the assets in a deal worth $125 million.

Wanxiang, based in Hangzhou, entered a competing bid of $257 million and representatives from A123 announced Dec. 9 that they accepted that higher offer. JCI said in a press release that it was withdrawing from the process.

"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," said Alex Molinaroli, the president of JCI's power systems unit, based in Glendale, Wis.

A hearing on Wanxiang's offer is set for Dec. 11.

Interest in battery technology is continuing to grow in the U.S., however, despite the bankruptcy by A123, one of the first auto-focused lithium-ion battery makers in North America.

Lithium-ion batteries use a polymer film at the core of every cell, and also use plastics extensively in structural parts, cooling systems and electrical connections.

JCI is part of a $120 million research project combining business, government and university researchers to improve battery storage and create next-general battery technology.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory will lead the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, which will combine the research and development operations of five Energy Department laboratories, four private firms and five universities.

The Argonne lab in suburban Chicago will host one development project site while two others are set for Ann Arbor, Mich., at the University of Michigan and Holland, Mich., home to Michigan State University's Bio-Economy Institute, federal officials announced Nov. 30.

Holland is also home to JCI's lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility.

Other partners in JCESR are Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., Applied Materials Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., Clean Energy Trust of Chicago, Ill., Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses. Dow also has its own joint venture lithium-ion battery operation, Dow Kokam LLC of Midland.


Comments

China's Wanxiang expected to buy lithium-ion battery company

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: December 10, 2012 6:00 am ET
Updated: January 8, 2013 5:52 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

New Hexcel plant will supply carbon fiber for Airbus A350 XWB

September 30, 2014 2:43 pm ET

Hexcel Corp. is investing $250 million on a new carbon fiber plant in France, with part of the production going into the future Airbus SAS A350 XWB.    More

Image

Welding equipment supplier Forward completes expansion

September 30, 2014 4:08 pm ET

Plastic welding equipment producer Forward Technology completed an expansion it predicts will help customers become more efficient and cut costs.    More

Image

Extreme Tool uses remote Michigan location to attract younger workers

September 30, 2014 3:47 pm ET

“I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being an old guy like me. But I do believe in the power of youth and reinvesting in training. The...    More

Image

LyondellBasell CEO Gallogly to retire

September 30, 2014 3:00 pm ET

James Gallogly, CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, on Sept. 29 announced plans to retire in 2015.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events