January 21, 2022

Wanxiang Group wins A123 bid pending US court approval


According to Reuters, Lazard Freres, the investment bank of American battery supplier A123 Systems, announced that Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts maker, won the A123 auction.


On December 8, Timothy Pohl of Lazard Bank stated that Wanxiang Group’s offer of US$260 million was at the top of the auction, exceeding US Johnson Controls and Japan Electric Corporation (NEC). In addition, two informed sources revealed that Siemens Germany also has the qualification to bid. The auction began on Saturday, but due to the handling of Johnson Controls' bottom-line document issues, the auction was delayed.


The results of this bid need to be approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court. The court judge Kevin Carey will hold a hearing next Tuesday.


Because A123 received US government funding and provided technical support to the US military, the transaction was politically sensitive. Wanxiang had tried to inject A123 to acquire its equity in August this year, but it was opposed by the U.S. government and later announced the failure of the acquisition due to the bankruptcy of A123.


Another anonymous source said that this A123 asset sale does not include the company’s business department that provides services to the US Department of Defense. This part of the assets will be auctioned for another bid.



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