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JCI cites ‘national security’ in sale appeal

Keywords: Tags  Johnson Controls, JCI, A123 Systems, Wanxiang Group, Wanxiang America, lead batteries, Alex Molinaroli, Daniel Fitzgerald


NEW YORK — Johnson Controls Inc. has filed an appeal against the sale order of A123 Systems Inc. to Wanxiang America Corp. while reiterating its concerns about "national security questions" arising from such a sale.

JCI said it filed the appeal in bankruptcy court against Wanxiang’s approved purchase in a bid to obtain the breakup fee and expense reimbursement under its original stalking horse agreement with Waltham, Mass.-based A123 ( amm.com, Oct. 18).

"We appreciated the opportunity to serve as stalking horse, which resulted in significant value to the estate, creditors and employees," Johnson Controls Power Solutions president Alex Molinaroli said.

JCI withdrew its bid for the battery manufacturer after declining to match the $256.6-million bid of Wanxiang America, a subsidiary of Hangzhou, China-based Wanxiang Group ( amm.com, Dec. 10).

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee-based company said it will "continue to monitor" the process of A123’s sale to Wanxiang, which must also be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

"Johnson Controls has consistently maintained that national security questions tied to the core technology used in all of A123’s businesses represent a risk to the sale, which cannot be dismissed until resolved by the government review process," the company said.

"Should the sale of A123 Systems to Wanxiang not be completed for any reason, Johnson Controls remains open to considering future opportunities to acquire relevant portions of A123’s assets," Molinaroli added.


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