Anybody want to buy a battery company? Cobasys is for sale!

Just a day after announcing that they would be supplying nickel metal hydride batteries for the upcoming Chevy Malibu hybrid, Cobasys is now up for sale. Cobasys is jointly owned by Energy Conversion Devices and Chevron Technology Ventures. Cobasys also has a partnership with A123 to develop lithium ion battery packs for the Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid program. The owners have hired investment bankers to examine the possibilities for sale, new investment or public offering. If Cobasys-A123 gets the production contract for the Vue PHEV or any other programs they may need significant new investment to finance new production facilities for lithium ion battery packs. Chevron shouldn't have any problem financing Cobasys, so it may just be that they actually want to take advantage of the current popularity of battery companies to cash out some of their investment. The press release is after the jump

[Source: Automotive News - subscription required]

Orion, MI, March 14, 2007 – Cobasys LLC announced today that its owners, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD Ovonics) (NASDAQ:ENER), through its affiliate Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. (OBC), and Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX), have agreed to explore strategic alternatives for Cobasys. Cobasys expects that this will enable it to further capitalize on global opportunities for integrated energy storage solutions in the rapidly growing hybrid electric vehicle and stationary power industries.

Cobasys has already been awarded contracts to supply the battery and control systems for eight major hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) production and/or development programs. These include providing battery systems and controls for the Saturn Aura and the Saturn Vue Green Line, the recently announced Chevrolet Malibu hybrid and a contract to develop lithium battery systems for the new General Motors plug-in hybrid (PHEV) development program.

"We're honored to have been selected as the supplier for the majority of North American and European OEM hybrid battery system programs awarded over the last two years. We are now well positioned to capitalize on future opportunities with these and other customers and to take the next logical step in our growth strategy," said Thomas S. Neslage, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cobasys.

ECD Ovonics and CTV have engaged financial advisors to assist in the process. ECD Ovonics will be represented by UBS Investment Bank and CTV will be represented by Goldman, Sachs & Co. The parties are not disclosing the timing or the alternatives under consideration.

About Cobasys

Cobasys designs, manufactures and integrates advanced battery system solutions for transportation markets, including Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Electric Vehicles (EV) and 36/42 Volt applications and to stationary markets, including Back-Up power supply systems for Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Telecom and Distributed Generation markets.

Cobasys is a joint venture between Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, (CTV) a subsidiary of
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER).

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