By on October 16, 2012

Reuters reports that battery maker A123 Systems is filing to bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

The company has received cash infusions from China earlier this summer, and its financial situation has been precarious, to say the least. Political controversies were also part and parcel of the story, as with any green energy project today, and A123 received a $249 million dollar grant from the Obama administration in 2009. A123 supplied battery technology to Fisker and General Motors.

UPDATE:

Johnson Controls will be purchasing the remnants of A123, while providing $72.5 million in funding to help A123 continue operations as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings.

Crain’s Detroit Business is reporting that

Under the deal, the Waltham, Mass-based A123 will pay to license technology its own grid, commercial and government technologies from JCI.

Presumably, A123′s brand will carry on under the JCI empire. That won’t do much for the beleaguered battery company, which apparently posted 14 consecutive losing quarters, and has $376 million in debt versus $459.8 million in assets. In the filing, A123 noted

“The company may not have sufficient cash to fund operations and may need to seek the protections provided under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code…No assurance can be given that the company will be able to avoid restructuring, reorganization, or a bankruptcy filing.”

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

90 Comments on “A123 Files For Bankruptcy, Johnson Controls To Take Over...”


  • avatar
    moedaman

    Another “green energy” success story. Look, I believe that alternative energy can succeed. But not the way that it’s currently being ushered in. The government has put a lot of money in technology that isn’t ready for prime time yet. The federal government putting money in for R & D is great, but the tech isn’t ready to replace current energy needs and the money spent on rushing multiple factories online has been money wasted. At the same time old energy production (i.e oil and coal) is being discouraged. This is leaving a gap in our energy needs thus raising energy costs. High energy costs is one reason why our economy isn’t growing. The government needs to be more practical in it’s approach to energy production and less idealogical.

    • 0 avatar
      2012JKU

      Moedaman – I agree 100%!

    • 0 avatar
      BigFire

      What you’re looking at is rent-seekers. These so-call green grant from the government are given to the campaign contributors. Is it any wonder why they didn’t work?

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Obama gave taxpayer money to:
      Solyndra – Bankrupt
      Ener1 – Bankrupt
      Beacon Power – Bankrupt
      Abound Solar – Bankrupt
      Amonix Solar – Bankrupt
      Spectra Watt – Bankrupt
      Eastern Energy – Bankrupt
      A123 Batteries – Bankrupt
      All of these companies were headed by Obama campaign contributors, all of whom were enriched by fleecing the taxpayers.

      • 0 avatar

        Do we have any idea of the total list of companies that did receive investments?

        I know Elon Musk’s Tesla received $465-odd million and seems to have put it to good use, to design a car a lot of people like, and to successfully open a factory.

        Fisker received 500-odd million and seems to have wasted a lot of it on a factory that never opened. Fisker looks to be on the verge of bankruptcy, but perhaps they can stave it off until after the election.

        All the other companies I know of have declared bankruptcy.

        Did Elon Musk’s Solar City get any money? How’s it doing?

        One of Musk’s other companies, SpaceX, just launched a space vehicle that successfully hooked up with NASA’s space station, replacing much more expensive solutions from the Russians.

        Looks like if you want to spend government money on cutting-edge projects that look like pure fantasy, you’d might as well give it all to Elon Musk. You may or may not like the guy, but he delivers.

        Has anyone else?

        D

      • 0 avatar
        Thinkin...

        At present, 9% of the companies who received federal secured loans have gone under. When declaring bankruptcy in each case, the federal gov’t is the primary debtor, which means that when the company’s holdings are liquidated, any cash generated goes back to the feds first. (In this case, A123 has $460M in assets that will be sold, so it is very likely that the federal government will get every penny of its $249M back. Sure the money was tied up for a few years, but it is far from lost, and it helped to create 3000 jobs during that time.

        Make of that what you will, but that’s how government backed loans work. And in the realm of things, a 9% failure rate is far less than average for startups in any field.

      • 0 avatar
        CurseWord

        Without support from somewhere OPEC and the oil companies will continue to own and monopolize our energy. Future energies certainly won’t come from them until they’re good and ready. You can’t blame a gov. for trying to invest in the future, since not many other entities have the capital they do. And the admin. invested in a LOT more companies than those, most of which are still up and running.

        You can’t win if you don’t play, but sometimes, you will strike out.

        I’d prefer attempts at new energy source than more subsidies to big oil.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This is the latest in a long line of boondoggles over so called ‘green energy’. Funding nebulous start-ups in a relatively new industry was never a good idea for dot gov, the same money would have been better spent by NASA, DARPA etc. to research renewable energy as at least they are reputable with proven records of success. Handing out billions in grants and loans to then have half a dozen or more firms go bankrupt in maybe two years is dodgy at best, and criminal at its worst. Like scandals such as weapons of mass destruction and fast and furious before it, expect this all to be conveniently forgotten by the administration and judiciary.

      • 0 avatar
        rushn

        Look up when (and by which president) shale oil extraction was first funded by the federal government. And then make a note on how shale oil is now supposed to save America from dependency on other countries. Oh, and see if any companies failed while doing it ;)

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      @thinkin…you’re not helping here with the misinformation.

      It was a grant to A123…not a loan. They don’t owe anything on it.

      They got a grant for $249 million…they ‘only’ drew about $130 million of it. There is nothing owed on it.

      It is interesting that Johnson Controls also got a similar grant for battery production around the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        car_guy2010

        Waiting until technologies are “good and ready” means waiting what, 25 years? 50 years? 100 years into the future?

        No thanks.

        It’s time to stop putting profits above people for once.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Obummer! Political timing as early voting started weeks ago and right in the middle of debates?

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Why must you troll, troll?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      *sigh*

      No fan of Obama but even less of a fan of those who can’t get facts straight.

      The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed when Bush was in the White House and approved by a GOP Congress. Section 136 of the EI&SA provided for the Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative approved on February 16, 2009. Obama was in the White House for less than a month, and it was buried in the Stimulus Package that the Bush White House worked on before departing, and basically put on his desk for a signature.

      The DoE loan was approved in 2010 based on a 2009 application.

      What killed A123 was the Fisker battery recall, and the bad production units they had to replace at their cost, plus a couple of other high profile electric car failures that never saw the light of day – killing their business. It’s a shame, they were one of the first kids on the block to figure out how to make car sized Lithium Ion batteries that didn’t get hotter than the sun when charged and used. They also were heavily involved with Toyota – all of this before getting a stack of DoE loans (again, if you look at the history of the company).

      But hey – don’t let facts and public record get in the way of a political rant on an automotive site.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        In addition, the DoE has done quite well by VC standards. If you run a VC firm, you expect 3 out of 10 investments to do well, and the rest fail. Last I checked, DoE’s record is far better than that.

        Partisan hacks will always criticize everything and anything, even though they don’t really understand.

      • 0 avatar
        Thinkin...

        Thank you for the level-headed response. The media feeds on these stories like crazy, and people tend to get so fired up about things they know nothing about during election season. Very happy to see that some of the TTAC commentariat can think on their own!

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Green energy was all about kickbacks to the present group of felons infesting the White House. It’s a good idea, but as stated above, the technology just isn’t ready. New idea for the dorks in DC…let private enterprise invest and take the risks. Private enterprise gave us the microprocessor, transistors, etc. DC gives us….(won’t print in fear of being banned.)

    Remember, if you flunked science, flunked business, and barely passed law school, you can be a successful politician and president.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      “DC gives us…”

      …ARPANet?

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        “DC gives us…”

        …ARPANet?

        And a wonderful thing it is. They do not fund production. They fund research. Way out there bleeding edge research. Not production.

        Was it on TTAC that there was speculation that had A123 ramped up to meet demand rather than invested for overly rosy demand levels they may have made it?

        I have done work for high performance battery companies each with a very different focus and both have prospered by staying the hell away from automotive. As a business decision, it looks like the right one.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Transcontinental railroad (Pres. Linoln)
        Interstate hwy system (Pres. Eisenhower)
        EPA (Pres. Nixon)
        GPS
        Panama Canal

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Here’s a few that were transformation hi-tech in their time:
        - Transcontinental railroad (Pres. Lincoln)
        - Panama Canal (Pres. T. Roosevelt)
        - Interstate hwy system (Pres. Eisenhower)
        - EPA (Pres. Nixon)
        - GPS (Several administrations from Pres. Reagan authorising use by civilians, to Pres. Clinton cancelling “Selective Availability” giving civilian users appx same accuracy as DOD.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “ARPANET?”

        +1 my friend.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Actually the US government was the sole customer for almost all of IBM’s early computers. The internet, of course, was a DoD invention. The World Wide Web is an invention of the european government.

      • 0 avatar
        sitting@home

        And don’t forget the Interstate highway system and GPS were both DC funded, military-derived projects that everyday drivers now take for granted. I’m yet to see more than a few miles of privately funded highways and the only equivalents to GPS are from other governments.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        The WWW concept can be traced back to Vannevar Bush, one of FDR’s advisors, in an essay, “How We May Think.”

  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    NNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone familiar with battery chemistry knows A123′s huge role in developing LiFePO4 cells as a much safer alternative to LIon. Sadly, this will be one more technology and industry we had to the Chinese.

    I blame GM. The cannot engineer themselves out of a paper bag, mostly due to management. Designing, engineering, and marketing electric and hybrid vehicles are way beyond their skill set. The Volt didn’t have a chance thanks to Bob Lutz and his cronies.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      Their battery “technology” was a white elephant.

      • 0 avatar
        retrogrouch

        The military doesn’t think so. They are very worried about thermal events. Which battery chemistry would you rather sit next to while trapped in a titanium tube 1000 feet below the surface of the ocean?

      • 0 avatar
        cmoibenlepro

        I rather be on earth, than being trapped next to a useless, not functioning, explosion-prone (Fisker Karma), flammable, dangerous, Chinese-backed technology.

      • 0 avatar
        alex_rashev

        Nice one. I have a 16-cell stack of their batteries as a main battery in my MR2. $300 shaves 25 pounds off the car, lets me put the battery on the bottom, and when you leave the battery drained for a couple of months, it charges right up. Not to forget that the cranking speed is faster than it ever used to be – those cells drop very little voltage even when you discharge them at 50-100C.

        Oh, and every high-power li-ion drill out there uses their cells.

        I have no idea why they failed, but it isn’t the product. The cells are light-years ahead of whatever Tesla used in the Roadster.

    • 0 avatar
      dodobreeder

      At the risk of pissing someone off by bringing up the Volt, I’ve got to tell you guys, my (older) brother owns one, and I’m not impressed with it.

      Not with the battery technology, not with the range, not with the (loud!) gasoline engine and not with cramped passenger compartment.

      Plus, the bum asks people he visits, including me, if he can plug in his Volt for the duration he is visiting us. I am embarrassed to have others ask me, “Does John want to plug his car in at your house when he’s here?”

      That’s like asking the people I visit, “hey Bud, can you give a couple of gallons of gas for coming here?”

      Look, if the majority of Americans would opt to buy an electric car that uses this battery technology, all these failures would most likely not have occurred.

      Was Obama a visionary when he decided to back these ventures or was he simply repaying debts to the people who helped him get elected? My take on it is that Obama was ill-advised when he chose to sink taxpayer money into ventures that clearly were not ready for prime time, and that were not of anyone’s benefit except his backers.

      BTW, I’m NOT against EVs! If I were ever inclined to buy one, the plug-in Prius line of vehicles would be the way to go for me. And there is a whole lot less controversy with Prius.

      There simply is no way that you can get any return on your money by buying an overpriced Volt, and in that sense I DO think GM contributed to the failures of these battery technology companies because GM simply could not get enough people to even look at their Volt, an EV that was most certainly hyped as the ‘car of the future’ for GM and America.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        how much do you figure it costs for him to charge it up at your place? you just seem bitter period

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @dodobreeder

        You do realize that Volt has nothing to do with A123 right? Yet the Volt somehow contributed to the failure of A123? Ok. Sure.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        Your brother’s Volt probably costs less than $0.10/hour to charge, which is less than the beer you might offer him.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        qslippy,

        It sounds like dodobreeder probably doesn’t offer people beer, either.

        Hey, dodobreeder,

        Obama wasn’t in office when the Volt got going. And I figure that, since every auto company in the world is attempting to build an electric car, that there must be some kind of reason for it.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Probably 10-20 cents to charge his car at your house, depending on how long. You could probably find that change in your sofa.

        It doesn’t really make sense why you’d get a plug-in Prius over a Volt except for bias. You’d think Toyota should have beaten GM to the punch, but engineering a plug-in is more complicated than a straight hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        dodobreeder

        corntrollio, I live in Southern California between Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley, so we see a lot more Prius products out here than Volts. A lot of happy campers with Prius products.

        I have several friends who own a Prius, or a Camry Hybrid, and one even owns a Fusion Hybrid. Ironically, they all also own a full size pickup truck (different brands) and usually a sedan or SUV/CUV for the missus.

        EVs are just a toy to most people, a fad, the hip, in, thing to be seen driving but there is no practical purpose to them. And there won’t be until we run out of oil.

        But asking to plug in any EV when you go to visit someone is like me asking for a couple of gallons of gas for my ICE vehicles when I go visiting. How many of these keyboard philosophers do that to their family and friends?

        It’s rude, crude and just not socially acceptable.

        If people choose to buy an EV, I’m cool with that. But they shouldn’t mooch off others to keep their EV charged.

        Why doesn’t my brother, for instance, drive his Lincoln Blackwood, or his Navigator instead. I bet he wouldn’t ask anyone to give gas to him.

        People who ask to plug in their EV, no matter the brand, leave a bad taste that sour relationships.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    So basically, A123 took millions of dollars from the Chinese and then went bankrupt?

    US government puts in $250 million – spent in the USA.
    China puts in $450 million – spent in the USA.

    I think we came out ahead.

    • 0 avatar
      cmoibenlepro

      -Part of the money was spent in fiscal paradises, and executives accounts in shady places.
      -Money spent in the USA was misspent and resulted in company failure.
      -Company bankrupt
      -Government lose everything
      -China gets the technology.

      Great, just great.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        China doesn’t get the technology. It was developed and patented under the Bayh-Dole Act. If the factory gets moved outside of the USA, they lose exclusive ownership of the technology. Anyone in the USA could build the batteries royalty free.

      • 0 avatar
        cmoibenlepro

        If you believe that, you are naive.
        Chinese were not supposed too to copy the Toyota Corolla based on copyright laws. But the BYD E3 still exists anyway.

        They will not move the factory from USA, they will simply create 25 new factories in China. Anyway, the one in America is bankrupt.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Johnson Controls is a Chinese company?

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Obviously people here aren’t familiar with the Bayh-Dole Act. The comparison to Corollas and BYD is completely irrelevant, and people seem to be missing the fact that Johnson Controls is the new owner. But hey, nothing stops the ignorant from pretending they understand anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Haters gotta hate,
        mowrons gotta mow…

      • 0 avatar
        rushn

        @cmoibenlepro

        Chinese Corolla and copyright law? Of all the examples to choose, you went with the one that doesn’t actually work. I recommend you try again.

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Actually, the WSJ has an article about what happened to Wanxing deal. Basically it got scuttled. It didn’t meet government approval as A123 had military contracts.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2012/10/16/what-happened-to-a123s-chinese-rescue/

      A123 technology will go to Johnson Controls, not Wanxing.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    249mm ain’t nothin

    The gubamint is printing more than a thousand million every day

    and what do you get mad about? China?

    I pity the fool

  • avatar
    areader

    Does a government ever have a place in investing in new technology? I think yes. Has this been the right/best time for this type of investment? I don’t know and I doubt that anyone else here does. The existence of the Prius, the Chinese investment in A123 indicates that the US is not alone in thinking this is worthwhile. The money spent in this area is literally nothing compared to the cost of wars fought and being fought for oil.

    The US is, or soon will be, exporting oil.

    Whatever. Haters gonna hate.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      DARPA,ARPA, and NASA have done some mind boggling research. Was most of it practical and/or have commercial application. Not a chance. As country we are getting away from basic research that provides a foundation of proved science and to a society of figure it out now, we need to do an IPO and make big money. I find it ironic when RCA labs, Bell labs, and NASA were conducting pure research we were on top. Now that most research is profit driven we’re sliding down a slippery slope. I think hybrids should have had some spin on them like “Americans leading the world in technology. Again.” Toyota got money from the Japanese govt to research the Prius. We should have done that with all of the big 3. A moonshot indeed.

    • 0 avatar
      retrogrouch

      We are also helping Canada sell their oil on the open market thanks to the Keystone XL pipeline. We are truly farked as a nation.

      • 0 avatar
        cmoibenlepro

        Better for America to import oil from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Venezuela I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        From what I have read in the past few weeks, a good chunk of Mideast oil now flows East. There was an article on I believe Foreign Policy.com talking about what the US role should be in protecting the oil shipments and what role China or other Eastern powers could play moving forward.

  • avatar

    Obama is going to get slammed on this tonight but hopefully he can remind people that A123 systems has been recieving DOE money since 2006. This cant be blamed on him “picking losers”. he picked up on what the DOE had already invested in and seemed like a good idea to create manufacturing jobs in green tech. press release from 2006: http://www.uscar.org/guest/article_view.php?articles_id=39

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    Insert political trolling here.

    Anyway, to be fair, what do you expect when you make batteries for a company that only sells what, 20-25,000 Volts and a couple thousand Karmas in a year? Or has GM been using this company’s offerings in their eAssist and other mild hybrid systems, too?

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      They were the battery suppliers for some of Black & Decker’s power tools, but the margins there must have been slim.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Blame the government for the problem, not those pointing it out.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      @tuffjuff

      A123 doesn’t make the Volt battery.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      AFAIK the only A123 batteries GM had blow’d up at a GM research center.

      I’m guessing GM’s pretty happy with choosing the less-dense but safer LG chemistry. It seems that all the engineering choices GM took so much crap for over the last year or two (LG, liquid cooling, CS mode clutching of ring gear to generator) have turned out to be genius. Choke on THAT, haters!

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Yeah, ummm, GM doesn’t use A123′s batteries for the Volt. Do some of you people even read before you post or do you just cut and paste from thread to thread?

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        “A123 supplied battery technology to Fisker and General Motors.”

        My apologies for thinking that a company that makes batteries would supply a company, like General Motors’, higher-end efforts, like the Volt.

        I didn’t do research. You’d be correct. I was at work. Per the original article, I assumed that lumping GM in with Fisker would suggest a premium offer, ala Volt. Add to that the idea that A123 wasn’t selling enough batteries, clearly, to stay in business, and my bad for posting a quick, light reply to a thread while at work.

        Piss off, troll.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      don’t post.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Bomp, bomp, bomp

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If the government is committed to being in the business of picking winners and losers in the market, at least do it well.

    For those that watch Shark Tank, it’s abundantly apparent that the government needs a panel such as that made up of business experts/VC’s/entrepreneurs to advise on these matters. Political retreads with no business experience lack the skills to make investment decisions with tax dollars. I bet no one will be fired over this decision either.

    This reminds me not only of Solyndra, but also of the GAO slipping a gas powered alarm clock through for Energy Star certification… and got it. They also got an electric space heater with a feather duster pasted on top to be Energy Star certified.

    We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      What makes you think the VC’s know anything more than the government? The VC’s lost more money than the US government in the case of Solyndra. They are just a bunch of people with more money than sense. The ‘business experts’ were the ones who ran this country into the ground in 2008.

      Also- the purpose of the government’s investment is not returning a profit. It is to jumpstart a ‘chicken and egg’ scenerio.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        The VC’s voluntarily wasted their own money. The government wasted my/our money, and much of it is borrowed money that future generations will have to pay back with interest.

        Big difference.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        “the purpose of the government’s investment is not returning a profit.”

        Well, then we’re doing a heck of a job then. Not sure you meant to word it that way, but it’s quite funny.

        I’m sure the DOE or DOT loaned this money based on the same faulty, bs, made up, unicorn fart numbers that were submitted to the DOE for getting the EnergyStar cert. for the gas powered alarm clock.

        Why are you excusing government stupidity?

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    All these so called private-public partnerships are just BS. I think from now on- all the research should be done by proper government labs. When the research is successful, license it to whoever wants to manufacture it. No more flaky fly-by-night private corporations should be getting public money. Public money should stay in public hands.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    If you want to fund research with taxpayer dollars, do it at University, but when you basically turn the government into a Venture Capital firm, it creates an incredibly corrupt system.

    Do we even need to point out that the investors and CEO with A123 were big Obama bundlers?

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Additional information that may affect your opinion of this case:

    Despite known financial trouble, just a few months ago A123 awarded sweetened severance packages to its top executives. From CapCon:

    Vice President and General Manager of Energy Solutions Group Robert Johnson, for example, would see his severance increase an extra $200,000 from the agreement, boosting it from $400,000 to $600,000. Johnson’s base salary is $400,000 this year, up 21 percent from his 2011 base salary of $331,250. That raise is consistent with a pattern of large pay increases top executives at A123 Systems have received.

    In sum: The president of the United States, Michigan’s former governor, the state’s two U.S. senators and the U.S. Secretary of Energy promised thousands of jobs from a company that in a mere two years went bankrupt. Despite a bankruptcy or buyout predicted by outside observers, the company continued to reward its top executives while laying off most of its workforce.

    http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17686

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Hey, that’s how Obama’s crony capitalism works. Them that got gets, them that don’t won’t.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      It’s funny, I tried to read some conservative blogs to figure out where the cronyism was, but the closest anyone got was people making irrelevant Rothschild references. Looks like the echo chamber of nonsense still works quite well.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have never read the Websters definition, but I always took cronyism to be akin to a ‘good ole boys’ scenario where a clique rules over something with impunity and isn’t held accountable to the same rules or standards as others.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I’m looking forward to the E-normous Johnson line of batteries.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Good thing Johnson Controls is there to keep the lights on at A123, but it probably won’t be the same company once the dust settles.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    this is a political rant pretending to be a car blog.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India