Valence Technology, Battery Maker, Files Bankruptcy

Valence Technology Inc., a maker of batteries for electric vehicles, sought bankruptcy protection from creditors, saying it plans to complete its restructuring this year.

The company, based in Austin, Texas, listed debt of $82.6 million and assets of $31.5 million as of March 31 in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in its hometown.

Valence owes $35 million on loans from affiliates of Chairman Carl Berg, about $34 million in interest on those loans, and $3 million on another third-party loan, according to court papers. The company also owes about $9 million on two series of convertible preferred stock held by Berg affiliates and has $11 million in trade debt and accrued expenses.

“The board of directors and the senior management team believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Valence,” Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Kanode said in a statement today. The company said it is negotiating a bankruptcy loan to finance the reorganization.

Founded in 1989, Valence develops lithium iron magnesium phosphate rechargeable batteries, according to its website. Its products are used in hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as hybrid boats and Segway personal transporters.

The case is In re Valence Technology Inc., 12-11580, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Texas (Austin).

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