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A123 Systems deal gains approval from CFIUS

Keywords: Tags  A123 Systems, JCI Controls, Wanxiang Group, CFIUS, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given the go-ahead for Wanxiang America Corp. to acquire A123 Systems Inc.

The Jan. 29 ruling follows an official appeal from Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), which cited numerous "national security questions tied to the core technology used in all of A123’s business" in its objection (, Dec. 18).

Waltham, Mass.-based A123, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and energy storage systems for transportation, electric grid and lead-acid replacement applications, owns 91 patents for military and space battery technology.

"We are excited to add A123 Systems to our growing portfolio of companies as we continue to expand on our strategy of investing in the automotive and clean-tech industries in the U.S.," said Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America, a subsidiary of Hangzhou, China-based Wanxiang Group.

Included in the investment are A123’s automotive, grid and commercial business assets, including technology, products, customer contracts and U.S. facilities in Michigan, Massachusetts and Missouri; its manufacturing operations in China; and its equity interest in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co.

Excluded from the sale is A123’s government business, including contracts with the U.S. military.

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