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On the evening of January 28, US local time, the United States Foreign Investment Commission (CIFUS) officially announced that it agreed to acquire Wanxiang Groupâ€™s A123 Systems. At this point, the multinational acquisition lasting more than five months is finally drawing to a close, and Wanxiang Group will complete delivery of the acquisition with A123, which is expected to be completed in the near future.
According to the announcement of A123â€™s previously announced Wanxiang Acquisition Agreement, Wanxiang will use A$ 257 million to acquire all of A123â€™s technology, assets, products and customer contracts, and its manufacturing operations in China, except for military orders. As of the press release, neither Wanxiang nor A123 issued a statement on the matter.
The United States A123 company was established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001 and listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the United States in 2009. It is the largest and most technologically advanced lithium battery manufacturer in the United States. A123 was once the star of the Obama administration's new energy policy. In 2009 and 2010, it received a U.S. new energy policy support loan of up to 250 million U.S. dollars.
Upon completion of the acquisition of A123, Wanxiang Group is expected to significantly increase its capabilities in the field of electric vehicle R&D and manufacturing. Wanxiang Group has Wanxiang Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd., and its parts and components are also supplied to other manufacturers.
The acquisition process has been devastated
Wanxiang's acquisition of A123 did not go smoothly, but it took several twists and turns. As early as August 16 last year, A123 announced that Wanxiang Group's US company and A123 had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding, and Wanxiang would acquire 80% of A123 System Co., Ltd. for US$465 million, becoming A123â€™s largest shareholder.
After the news was announced, there was criticism in the US political circles. Afterwards, the U.S. Foreign Investment Commission rejected the plan of equity investment in A123 for the sake of national security and technology loss.
In October of last year, A123 was forced to file bankruptcy protection in the courthouse, after which A123's assets entered the court's auction. NEC in Japan, Siemens in Germany, and Johnson Controls in the United States began bidding for A123 with Wanxiang, but Wanxiang eventually made a successful bid for the last time with US$257 million (more than double A123's assets).
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