In the bankruptcy auction for EV battery maker A123 that begins today, Reuters is reporting that NEC of Japan and Siemens of Germany are going to join China’s Wangxiang and Wisconsin’s Johnson Controls in bidding for the entire company.
In addition to those trying to buy the company in toto there are also reported to be a number of interests looking to salvage individual pieces of the battery company, like its brand new but well underutilized factory in Holland, Michigan. If either NEC, Siemens or Wangxiang wins the auction they would probably still need the approbation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The U.S. government has also indicated that it will have to approve any purchase that involves transferring the $249 million Dept. of Energy grant that A123 was given. All of the bodies that have to give their approval are in the executive branch, so politics may enter into the decision. The Pope is also a Roman Catholic and bears indeed defecate in the woods. National security is a part of the equation as well because A123 has at least one contract for the Pentagon that is classified. All of that seems to favor the one domestic bidder, Johnson Controls.