A123 Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer of lithium-ion (lithium iron phosphate) batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid and commercial markets. The company has about 2,500 employees globally and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 2001 by Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, Dr. Bart Riley and Ric Fulop. The company's nanophosphate technology is built on nanoscale materials initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The company received US$249 million grant from the Department of Energy for building battery production facilities. As of June 2012, $129M of the grant has been used to build the 550 MWh Livonia plant and the Romulus plant. Remaining untapped $120M grant's expiry date has been extended from end of 2012 to end of 2014. The company laid off 125 workers in December 2011 as demand for partner Fisker's automobiles has been slack.
As of August 2012, Wanxiang Group agreed to invest up to $465 million to acquire as much as 80% of A123 Systems; a statement released by A123 Systems in early October said that it had entered an asset purchase agreement with Johnson Controls, although the company's bid must be approved by a US bankruptcy court and could be topped by a rival bidder. Also in early October 2012, the A123 Systems' stock was trading for 27 cents per share, down from a 52-week high of $4.44 per share about a year beforehand. On October 16, 2012, A123 filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code.
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