Ok, so we made the "PDQ" part up, but battery maker A123 Systems, Inc. has changed its name to B456 Systems, Inc. – and no, this is not an early April Fool's Day joke. As part of A123's bankruptcy proceedings dating to last October, it was required to change its name in order to be purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang. According to the Detroit Free Press, as part of a March 22, 2013 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, A123 declared that its new name is B456 the name of the old assets to be liquidated is B456, akin to the way the post-bankruptcy General Motors was broken into GM and Motors Liquidation Company. The ongoing concern owned by Wanxiang is still called A123 Systems, Inc. We're not sure if anyone at A123 realized the irony – B456 is also the model number for a fire extinguisher made by Amerex that happens to be good for "energized electrical equipment."

Wanxiang completed its purchase of A123 B456 earlier this year. The company formerly known as A123 had received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, tax credits and grants from the federal government and the states of Michigan and Massachusetts. Part of the funds from the Wanxiang purchase repaid the $2.8 million it received from Massachusetts, but it looks like the other monies will go unrepaid. The Chinese company has said it will keep the Michigan plants open, but Michigan is trying to keep Wanxiang from collecting the rest of its unused incentives.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      so when b456 goes bust the new company will be c789? just a wild guess
        • 1 Year Ago
        @greg
        [blocked]
      masteraq
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's some confusion here. The battery manufacturer will still be called A123. It is the bankruptcy liquidation company that is called B456. This is similar to how GM was split into new GM and "Motors Liquidation Company".
      Mr E
      • 1 Year Ago
      C789 ftw!
      RetrogradE
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the "PDQ" bit. I think I'll put it on my next vanity plate when I get tired of "Pb Foot."
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they are commited to keeping the plant open in MI, then why is MI denying them the rest of the incentives? Seems like the good old racist attitudes are still alive. The chinese are good enough to buy american cars, but not good enough to run american factories?
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Lern2Reed... because they received millions of dollars that they have no plan to repay, and yet still want to collect money from the government. And its not even an American company anymore. Which part of that is confusing?
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          @ Ducman69 icemilkcoffee can read perfectly well ! The incentives are given to retain employment and industry in the State. The State can follow your irrational advice and refuse to honour the incentives, thus not only losing the investment they have made, but encouraging the new owners move to a more welcoming State, thereby losing completely ! Real Smart ! Michigan's Governor should be do everything he can to keep Dr Lu Guanqiu's company investing in Michigan.
      550PlusX5
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow. That's one convoluted way of given money from U.S. tax payers to the People's of Republic of China. Step 1. Create a "green tech" company... Step 2. Spending billions of dollars on creating cutting edge batteries and intellectual property Step 3. "Borrow" a lot of money from the department of energy and other government instutitions (which in turn has been screaming to tax the "rich" more to fund spending when america is broke) Step 4. Fail to make money, file for bankruptcy Step 5. Get sold for pennies on the dollar to a company that is in part or majority funded by the People's Republic of China government, sending all the I.P. overseas along with it. Step 6. Don't bother to pay the federal/state or U.S. taxpayers back... Wow, Obama... Great job on those "green tech" jobs that you were promising (that I never believed in personally)... You sure have a really complicated way of sending our U.S. taxpaying dollar overseas... Next time, I think you'd be better off just to encourage people to shop more at Walmart, because it produces the same results, albeit a lot less complicated. How's that obama "green tech" investments you got from taxing the rich working out for you? Yup thought so...
        Chris M
        • 1 Year Ago
        @550PlusX5
        It's up to the bankruptcy court to determine which of the creditors get paid back and how much. Fortunately, Government loans, like taxes due, have a high priority and are likely to be paid off.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Giyad
      • 1 Year Ago
      ok... if this company sticks around and becomes one of the largest battery producers in the future, this will be one of the funniest stories in history
      tyler
      • 1 Year Ago
      I cannot believe that the government let this happen..."hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, tax credits and grants," the company goes bankrupt, and then purchased by a Chinese company! Is there any other country that lets this type of thing happen? It's like the American taxpayers (specifically in Michigan and Massachusetts), gave up a bunch of money for a business experiment that failed and then let someone else come in an claim it for pennies on the dollar. Are there actually that few people out there upset over this?
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tyler
        A lot of folks just have no idea what is going on in the supplier world...
        Jet Spygul
        • 9 Months Ago
        @tyler
        "hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, tax credits, and grants" Read: Pennies to the dollar for each American taxpayer (fun fact: there's 300 million people in the US) Think of all the other money you're wasting on silly governmental failures and this really is a non issue by comparison.
      Brian
      • 1 Year Ago
      April 1st joke… not quite, just "old A123" changing it's name to avoid confusion with "A123 Systems", there'll still named A123 Systems. A123 Systems post to clear up confusion: http://info.a123systems.com/blog/bid/175891/Confusion-on-our-Company-Name-It-s-Still-A123
      Brian
      • 1 Year Ago
      Irony more interesting when you consider the Chinese culture around un-"lucky numbers"! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_in_Chinese_culture#Unlucky_numbers Meanings 4:‘dead’ - 5:‘no/not living’ - 6:‘fall/decline’ So A123 changed name to B 4 5 6 … \?/ Just WOW, unless another name changed planned?
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Such an original name could only be come up with by the reds. If we had anybody else in office, the loans would have been disbursed or the sale would have been blocked to keep a few hundred million of your dollars in your own country.
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