China Wins Bid to Buy Taxpayer-Funded A123

by Greg Pollowitz

Detroit Free Press:

Bankrupt battery maker A123 Systems Inc. on Sunday said it will sell most of its assets to the U.S. arm of Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. for $256.6 million.

Wanxiang America Corp. won an auction conducted under the supervision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

A123′s government business will be sold separately, for $2.25 million, to Navitas Systems, of Woodridge, Ill.

A hearing seeking the necessary court approval of the sale is scheduled for Tuesday. The deal must also be okayed by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal inter-agency committee that reviews sales of U.S. companies to foreign owners. The company has about 2,000 employees.

It’s not a done deal yet as there is sure to be political pressure brought against Team Obama for a) this stupid investment in the first place and b) now letting China get the company once the research has been paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Now, the fact that the research was funded by taxpayers really has nothing to do with the court’s decision. This is a typical result of what happens to an early-stage venture company and if Team Obama and Nobel-winner Chu didn’t want bankrupt taxpayer-funded failures ending up in the hands of U.S. competition, then maybe they shouldn’t have been playing venture capitalist in the first place.

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