Lithium Werks, the Dutch battery and energy group, announced on March 27 it had bought the China cylindrical lithium iron phosphate battery manufacturing plants of A123 Systems, which makes batteries for critical power applications.
The transaction, financed through the working capital of Lithium Werks, positions the company to expand its manufacturing of LiFePo cell, module and systems for the industrial markets.
A123 Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese Wanxiang Group, manufactured the first cylindrical nanophosphate cells at the plants in Changzhou.
Marc Kohler, Lithium Werks’ commercial director, told ESJB: “Wanxiang Group still owns A123 Systems, focusing on prismatic cell production primarily for the automotive sector.
“Lithium Werks now owns the cylindrical cell factory and will focus on industrial markets.”
The deal includes Lithium Werks taking control of the US-headquartered company’s China, Europe and the US customers as well as the operations, staff and product designs associated with the plants.
A123 will now focus on automotive applications ranging from mild-hybrids to fully electric vehicles, said Jeff Kessen, A123 Systems’ VP of corporate strategy.
In February ESJB reported how Lithium Werks had acquired substantially all the assets of Valence Technology, including the proprietary LiFePO4 intellectual property, trademarks and inventory.
Lithium Werks now has more than 420 patents from Valence and A123 around cathode material, processing, cell and module designs.