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Wanxiang Wins U.S. Approval to Buy Battery Maker A123

Jan 31, 2013
Source: 
(Bloomberg)

Wanxiang Group Co., China’s biggest auto-parts maker, won approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to buy most of the assets of A123 Systems Inc. (AONEQ), the bankrupt electric-car battery maker backed with U.S. government funds.

Approval from CFIUS, as it is known, was the final hurdle that Wanxiang needed to overcome to complete the deal. The federal interagency group led by the Treasury Department was reviewing the sale after members of Congress expressed national- security concerns over allowing a foreign competitor to obtain the technology developed with government backing.

Wanxiang, which won bankruptcy court approval of the acquisition Dec. 11, completed the purchase yesterday, Pin Ni, president of U.S. unit Wanxiang America Corp., said in an e- mail. Wanxiang America acquired substantially all of A123’s automotive, grid and commercial business assets for about $256.6 million. A123 and Wanxiang tried to mollify congressional anxiety by excluding the battery maker’s government business from the deal, which was sold to Woodridge, Illinois-based Navitas Systems LLC for about $2.25 million.