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A123 wins bankruptcy court approval of asset sale

Updated: January 13, 2013 11:11AM

A Delaware bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved the sale of most of the assets of failed battery maker A123 Systems Inc. to the U.S. arm of Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. for nearly $257 million.

A123’s defense-related business assets will be sold separately to Navitas Systems, based in west suburban Woodridge, for $2.25 million.

In asking Judge Kevin Carey to approve the sale, attorneys for Waltham, Mass.-based A123 noted that the winning bid submitted by Wanxiang America Corp. last week was more than double an initial $125 million offer for the company’s automotive battery unit by Milwaukee-based auto parts marker Johnson Controls Inc.

Wanxiang’s purchase requires approval by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal interagency committee that reviews sales of U.S. companies to foreign owners.

An attorney for A123 told Carey that the initial 30-day review period for CFIUS expires Wednesday, and that the panel plans to continue its investigation during a 45-day extension. AP

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