Business, Economics and Jobs

Chinese firm Wanxiang gets go-ahead to buy failed Massachusetts green energy company A123


Rep. Edward J. Markey (R), D-MA, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence And Global Warming, and US actor Rob Lowe speak to reporters next to a hybrid vehicle with a lithium ion nanophosphate battery module developed by A123 Systems 12 July 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.



The sale of A123 Systems Inc., the failed Massachusetts green energy company,  to China-based Wanxiang Group Corp. has been approved by the US Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States.

Wanxiang Group Corp. said Tuesday it received authorization by the US Treasury Department's oversight committee to purchase the bankrupt battery maker, reported.

The approval came despite concerns that the deal would give Chinese authorities access to energy technology developed with US government clean-energy grants.

CBS cited Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as saying in a statement that they worried about what would happen to any technology funded by US taxpayers.

Thune reportedly said:

"Technology produced by A123 and funded by US taxpayers should not simply be shipped off to China so that the military applications for these materials can be reproduced abroad." 

The Department of Energy awarded $249 million in grants to A123 Systems, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

It received $130 million before declaring bankruptcy last October.

However, the energy department said it would not award the remaining funds to A123.

CBS quoted the president of the US division of Wanxiang as saying in a statement:

"We're pleased the [US] government has completed its review and provided us with the go-ahead to finalize this transaction. The future is bright for A123. It is a company with exceptional talent and potential."