A123 Seeks Approval of $50 Million Loan From Wanxiang

A123 Systems Inc., the bankrupt maker of electric-car batteries, asked a judge to approve a $50 million loan from Wanxiang America Corp., replacing Johnson Controls Inc. as the lender for its Chapter 11 case.

A123 at a Nov. 5 hearing will seek approval of the financing from Wanxiang, which loaned the company $22.5 million before it entered bankruptcy Oct. 16, according to papers filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Johnson Controls received interim court approval Oct. 18 to lend A123 $15.5 million of a total $72.5 million loan. The Milwaukee-based auto-parts maker, which has agreed to buy A123’s automotive business for about $125 million, said it withdrew as the lender to avoid a fight over the financing.

A123 wants other bids due by Nov. 16, followed by an auction Nov. 19 and a hearing to approve the sale Nov. 26.

A123, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, listed assets of $459.8 million and liabilities totaling $376 million. Debt includes $143.8 million on 3.75 percent convertible subordinated notes.

A123 had revenue of $159.2 million in 2011 and $39.6 million so far this year. Net losses were $257.8 million in 2011 and $269 million this year through August.

The case is In re A123 Systems Inc., 12-12859, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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