December 12, 2012
In the video below, Motley Fool analyst Blake Bos discusses how the Wanxiang Group has likely won the bidding war for battery maker A123, which went bankrupt after receiving $249 million in federal stimulus money. China's Wanxiang Group is now buying A123 for $257 million.
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI ) has revoked its bid on A123 and will only bid if the current deal is blocked. Blake is quick to point out that investors should get used to the idea of Chinese companies investing abroad. He explains that there isn't much for them to invest in at home.
Blake then takes us back in history to see how this has happened earlier. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan had an enormous amount of cash from asset-priced inflation. They used that money to buy Universal Studios and many other major companies. Later, Japan sold those companies for major losses.
Looking at history, Johnson Controls should be happy not to have won the bidding war. A123 never made a profit and had $376 million in liabilities.
Ford and Toyota depend on Johnson Controls as their big-league provider of parts and services. Investors know of Johnson Controls primarily because of its growth in hybrid battery packs, which means it's in a good position to grow with China's economy, but is JCI the best way to play it? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in depth Johnson Controls research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.
Editor's note: In the video, the amounts of A123's federal grant and of Wanxiang's buyout were incorrectly stated. The Fool regrets the error.