A123 Systems Files Chapter 11, Unloads Automotive Battery Business

A123 Systems Inc., developer of Nanophosphate lithium-iron-phosphate battery technology and related energy storage systems, has filed for bankruptcy and is selling its entire automotive business line to Johnson Controls Inc.

The company's batteries and systems have been integrated into a number of electric vehicle (EV) platforms, such as those offered by Fisker Automotive Inc., ALTe Powertrain Technologies, VIA Motors and Tata Motors. A123 also joined a number of fleets, including Hertz and FedEx Express, in forming the Electrification Leadership Council earlier this year.

Johnson Controls is acquiring A123's automotive portfolio for $125 million. The deal includes A123's automotive technologies, products and contracts, as well as its facilities in Michigan and China.

‘We believe the asset purchase agreement with Johnson Controls, coupled with a Chapter 11 filing, is in the best interests of A123 and its stakeholders at this time,’ says David Vieau, CEO of A123. ‘We are pleased that Johnson Controls recognizes the inherent value of our automotive technology and automotive business assets.’

‘Johnson Controls' purchase agreement is a positive development for A123's U.S. operations and for the long-term growth of the advanced battery industry,’ said Electric Drive Transportation Association president Brian Wynne, in a statement. ‘Standing up an entirely new supply chain is a challenge to which industry leaders are committed.’

A123 says operations will continue during the acquisition and bankruptcy restructuring.

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