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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:38 AM

China's Wanxiang wins auction for U.S. government-backed A123

Source: Reuters

China's Wanxiang wins auction for U.S. government-backed A123

By Tom Hals
WILMINGTON, Delaware | Sun Dec 9, 2012 12:18am EST

(Reuters) - China's largest maker of auto parts won a politically sensitive auction for A123 Systems Inc (AONEQ.PK), a bankrupt maker of batteries for electric cars that was funded partly with U.S. government money, A123's investment banker said on Saturday.

Timothy Pohl of Lazard Freres said Wanxiang Group Corp's bid of about $260 million topped a joint bid from Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N) of Milwaukee and Japan's NEC Corp (6701.T) for the maker of lithium-ion batteries.

Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) of Germany had also qualified to bid, according to two people familiar with the auction, who asked not to be identified. The auction began on Thursday.

Chinese companies have launched $51.3 billion worth of outbound deals this year, making it Asia's second-biggest spender on overseas acquisitions behind Japan, according to Thomson Reuters data.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/09/us-a123-bankruptcy-wanxiang-idUSBRE8B801E20121209

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Reply China's Wanxiang wins auction for U.S. government-backed A123 (Original post)
Eugene Dec 2012 OP
cprise Dec 2012 #1
wtmusic Dec 2012 #2
GliderGuider Dec 2012 #3
wtmusic Dec 2012 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 09:46 PM

1. A123 patents were used at one point

to try to marginalize Japanese hybrids. Automakers like Toyota had to scramble to develop batteries that didn't depend on A123 patents. This is going back almost 10 years now, and I don't remember all the details but it was kind of sordid the way it played out.

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Response to cprise (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:06 PM

2. Sure you're not thinking of Ovonics' nickel-metal hydride battery?

Chevron-Texaco bought it up then refused to license it to anyone. That was very sordid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_encumbrance_of_large_automotive_NiMH_batteries

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 10:14 PM

3. Is anyone tracking Chinese foreign investments in energy and other essentials?

It strikes me that China is placing a wide variety of bets right now all across the energy and food landscapes around the world - like Nexen and A123. If I had a ginormous country and knew a thing or two about what might be coming up in the next 10 years around energy supplies and climate change, I'd be doing exactly the same thing.

I wonder what their foreign investment patterns look like. That should tell us what's on their mind.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:16 AM

4. A123 was sound but a recall fiasco did them in

Now all their IP is going offshore. Seems there was a better way to handle this.

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