A123 Systems, now B456, wins court approval to exit bankruptcy

It's official: A123 Systems Inc. is passing through its final phase. The bankrupt lithium ion battery maker, now going by the name B456 Systems Inc., has won court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy that pays off creditors from proceeds gained by selling off virtually all of its assets.

Objections previously made by creditors had been resolved prior to the hearing where US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey approved the company's plan. Creditors had voted "overwhelmingly in favor of the plan," Caroline Reckler, a lawyer for B456 Systems, told the Washington Post.

Now that the plan has been court approved, B456 expects to exit court protection in about three to four weeks. This will complete bankruptcy proceedings started by A123 last October, and which was the source of political jabs by then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Republican candidate had condemned the Obama administration for failed attempts at financially supporting alternative-energy industries.

The A123 name was removed in bankruptcy proceedings, which was required by the court in order to be purchased by Chinese company Wanxiang. The changeover to the B456 corporate identity was made in March as part of a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission when the company declared that its old assets were liquidated. The good parts of the old A123 live on under Wanxiang's new A123 Venture Technologies division.

As the recovery plan was being executed, plug-in hybrid carmaker and former partner Fisker Automotive came to a settlement with former A123. Fisker agreed to reduce about $140 million in claims by 89 percent to $15 million.

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