Chinese auto parts maker Wanxiang Group Corporation won the bidding for A123 Systems Inc , a bankrupt maker of batteries for electric cars that was funded partly with U.S. government money.
Wanxiang topped a combined offer from Milwaukee-based auto-parts manufacturer Johnson Controls Inc. and electronics maker NEC Corp. of Japan. The German electronics giant Siemens AG also submitted a qualified bid at the auction.
While the amount of the winning bid wasn’t disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reported the bid was between $250 million and $260 million, far less than the $465 million Wanxiang had initially agreed to invest in August in exchange for a controlling stake in the struggling battery maker’s operations
Among the assets Wanxiang will buy are two plants in Michigan that were largely financed by US taxpayers. Wanxiang will not get A123’s assets related to defense contracts. Those will go to another bidder, Navitas Systems LLC, an Illinois battery company.
Wanxiang, one of the largest non-government-owned companies in China, has annual revenue of more than $13 billion and supplies auto parts to many of China’s largest automakers.