It looks like the A123 acquisition saga by Shanghai-based Wanxiang Group is coming to an end with today’s ruling from the U.S foreign investment committee.
Wanxiang America Corporation has received approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to complete its acquisition of substantially all of the non-government business assets of A123 Systems, Inc.
“We’re pleased the government has completed its review and provided us with the go-ahead to finalize this transaction,” said Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America. “The future is bright for A123. It is a company with exceptional talent and potential, and Wanxiang America is committed to its long-term success and the continuance of its U.S. operations. Wanxiang America looks forward to closing the transaction and to continuing to foster the technologies A123 has worked so hard to develop.”
The Strategic Materials Advisory Council responded without delay today to the CFIUS ruling.
The Council mentioned in a press release the fact A123 Systems owns 91 patents for sensitive military and space battery technology.
“This disappointing decision represents a 180-degree reversal by the Obama administration in just 8 days, from the President’s Inaugural pledge to no longer ‘cede to other nations’ critical energy technology,” Council Co-chair and former Army Acquisition Executive, Dean Popps said. “Far from protecting America’s lead, as the President promised on the West Front of the Capitol, his administration has just allowed China to leapfrog the world in advanced batteries at the expense of American taxpayers.”
The Council opposed the sale of A123 to Wanxiang citing the massive national security risk the deal carries.
“The Chinese will now have direct access to a US-funded and developed technology that powers our military satellites and military drones and supports our soldiers in the field” said the Council in today’s press release.
Popps added, “The approved sale marks yet another step in the coordinated strategy by foreign countries to acquire leading US companies who are researching, developing and producing critical technologies. CFIUS itself has recognized this strategy but it appears they continue to fail to do anything to prevent it.”