A123 said Sunday that the total purchase price would fall short of the total amount owed to creditors. The company said that therefore its creditors would not recover any money and that its stock has no value.
The deal still requires approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency group overseen by the Treasury.
At the time it filed for bankruptcy in mid-October, A123’s automotive customers included Fisker Automotive, BMW, General Motors and Smith Electric, a maker of electric-powered delivery trucks.
Big utilities have also been buying lithium batteries for backup grid and renewable energy storage. A123 also sold to Arlington-based AES, Sempra Energy and Southern California Edison. Borgasano said A123 expected that more than half its revenue would come from grid and commercial applications.
In China, the company’s biggest customer is Shanghai Automotive, which is planning to use batteries in three models, one hybrid, one plug-in hybrid and one all-electric. Last month, it unveiled a small electric car, the Roewe E50.
A123 has also touted a technology that it says could surpass existing battery technology, but the company has not manufactured batteries using it.
Karsner said that was another reason to block the sale for national security reasons.
“It is no secret that the intellectual property around energy storage has both commercial and national security implications,” he said in an e-mail Sunday. “It is foolish to think that lawyers and a bankruptcy judge can, in short order, differentiate, separate and isolate the potential military uses so that one can ‘purify’ the sale.”
The Obama administration continues to stress the economic importance of winning the international competition for battery technology and manufacturing and is devoting further Energy Department money for that purpose. On Nov. 30, Energy Secretary Steven Chu awarded $120 million over five years to a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory to establish a new battery and energy storage “hub” of research.
“This is a partnership between world leading scientists and world leading companies, committed to ensuring that the advanced battery technologies the world needs will be invented and built right here in America,” Chu said.