Wanxiang Group was announced as the winning bidder for A123 Systems’ assets. A123 had previously been awarded a federal stimulus grant of about $250 million, had applied for federal loans of about $233 million and had received other incentives from the State of Michigan.
A123 (not much) later went bankrupt after creating about 400 (of what turned about to be temp) jobs at a cost of about $300k per job.
In the bankruptcy sale, Wanxiang Group Corp. won the auction for the company or the assets for about $256.6 million. It is not clear at this point how the deal is structured, although reports state that its defense-related busienss was sold to Navitas Systems for $2.25 million.
The sale remains subject to court and regulatory approval. There was no indication as to whether the U.S. government would get any of its money back.
Wanxiang owns about 5% of A123 as of its last Schedule 13D filing and had previously been in talks to buy a majority stake before A123′s demise. Did the U.S. government basically help finance the takeover of a U.S.-based car battery company to a Chinese enterprise, a la the sale of Chrysler to Fiat?