Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the automotive business assets of A123 Systems Inc., a Waltham, Mass., company that has filed for bankruptcy protection.
A123 Systems is a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and systems.
The value of the transaction is estimated at $125 million.
Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson Controls plans to acquire A123’s automotive business assets, including all of its automotive technology, products and customer contracts; its facilities in Livonia and Romulus, Michigan; its cathode powder manufacturing facilities in China, and A123’s equity interest in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems Co., A123’s joint venture with Shanghai Automotive.
The asset purchase agreement also includes provisions through which Johnson Controls intends to license back to A123 certain technology for its grid, commercial and government businesses.
To facilitate the transaction, A123 and all of its U.S. subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In conjunction with the proposed transaction, A123 has received a commitment from Johnson Controls for $72.5 million in “debtor in possession” financing to support the company’s continued operations during the sale process.
“We believe the asset purchase agreement with Johnson Controls, coupled with a Chapter 11 filing, is in the best interests of A123 and its stakeholders at this time,” said David Vieau, chief executive officer of A123.
“Our interest in A123 Systems is consistent with our long-term growth strategies and overall commitment to the development of the advanced battery industry,” said Alex Molinaroli, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions. “Requirements for more energy efficient vehicles continue to increase, which is driving automotive manufacturers to pursue new technologies across a broad spectrum of powertrains and associated energy storage solutions. We believe that A123’s automotive capabilities are a good complement to our existing portfolio and will further advance Johnson Controls’ position as a market leader in this industry.”