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Wanxiang’s Winning Bid for A123 Causes Concern for US Congress

It is now official. After months in in which everybody was sure that what was left of bankrupt US battery maker A123 Systems Inc. would go to Johnson Controls, Chinese company Wanxiang has stepped in, paid $256.6-million and secured the deal.
A123 Systems Inc. 1 photo
They now have A123’s facilities in Missouri, Massachusetts and Michigan, while their Ann Arbor-based government business, which includes all the company’s contracts with the US military, has gone to Navitas Systems, of Woodridge, Illinois, for $2.25-million.

A123 CEO Dave Vieau said: "We are pleased with the result of the auction and believe that the selected bids from Wanxiang and Navitas maximize the value of A123's assets for the benefit of our stakeholders [ . . . ] We are pleased with the result of the auction and believe that the selected bids from Wanxiang and Navitas maximize the value of A123's assets for the benefit of our stakeholders."

However, since Wanxiang is closely tied with the Chinese government, the takeover has raised concerns among some members of the US Congress. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland said: “I am very concerned by Wanxiang's acquisition of A123. A123 maintains several contracts with the Department of Defense and given the thin line between Wanxiang and the Chinese Government [ . . . ] I am concerned about the government of China having access to sensitive technologies being used by our military forces."

Meanwhile, the President of Wanxiang America, Pin Ni said, on a much more optimistic note that they “plan to build on the engineering and manufacturing capabilities that A123 has established in the U.S. and they are committed to making the long-term investments necessary for A123 to be successful.

Story via The Detroit News

 
 
 
 
 

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