Electric car battery maker A123 Systems, Inc.(PINK:AONEQ), which recently filed for bankruptcy, kicked off its bidding process on Thursday, with about four firms vying to get control of the company.
A123 went bankrupt in spite of getting government money to bail it out. Only one of the four bidders is an American firm, the rest being all rivals from overseas.
Johnson Controls Inc of Milwaukee and Wanxiang Group Corp of China have both said they qualified to bid for A123, which makes lithium-ion batteries.
NEC Corp of Japan and Siemens AG of Germany also qualified to bid, Reuters said in a report citing two people familiar with the auction who asked not to be identified.
However there are other smaller, unidentified firms who are also looking to grab smaller pieces of A123.
The auction was being held behind closed doors in the Chicago law offices of Latham & Watkins, but had a delayed start as bidders were still reviewing contracts and other details associated with the bidding.
Analysts said that the auction could be long-drawn out and could run into next week.
Incidentally, because of the government funding that the company has received, U.S. politicians have warned hat it should not fall into Chinese hands and should stay within the U.S.
If Wanxiang or another foreign buyer wins the auction, it would likely need approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to complete the deal.