Thursday, September 24, 2009

A123 IPO Roundup II (AONE) "A123 in Talks to Settle Lithium Battery Patent Fight "

Roundup I is here. First up we go back to Bloomberg for the headline story:
A123 Systems Inc., a maker of lithium batteries for plug-in cars that first sold stock today, is in talks to end a patent dispute with the University of Texas and Hydro-Quebec over technology underlying its products.

The parties “continue to engage in ongoing settlement discussions that may resolve the issues in dispute in this matter,” A123 said in a Sept. 15 court filing. Shares of the Watertown, Massachusetts-based company soared 50 percent in the first day of trading on optimism A123 will benefit from the U.S. push for battery-powered vehicles.

“We have a strong business model and don’t see this as a major issue,” Ric Fulop, A123’s co-founder and vice president of business development, said in an interview. He declined to discuss the litigation or settlement discussions....MORE

Next up, the Cleantech Group's blog:

Spotlight on A123's executive comp

With Watertown, Mass.-based A123Systems’ IPO bearing the weight of the watchful eyes of the cleantech world today, could this be the start of the boom that boosts the comp for executives in the energy storage space, as it did in the solar sector in 2008? (see Solar boom kicks salaries higher).

Well, it’s too soon to say. But one thing it does do is put the once very private company, which manufactures high-power lithium ion batteries that use its patented nanophosphate technology, into the public spotlight, including how much its executives stand to benefit from the transaction (see A123Systems up and climbing after Nasdaq debut).

According to the company’s S-1 filing, CEO David Vieau has a base salary of $300,000 for 2009, while other top management each have base salaries of $210,000, including: CFO Michael Rubino, Vice President and General Manager of the Energy Solutions Group Robert Johnson, VP of Global Sales Evan Sanders, and Bart Riley, the company’s founder, CTO, and VP of research and development....MORE

Finally, CNN Money has a longish piece with some tidbits:

AONE IPO charges car battery market

...Buzz around the company is running high. "I heard it was standing room only at many of the presentations," before money managers, said one person familiar with the firm.

The company is closely watched for several reasons.

First, its origins and backers give it some credibility in the high tech world.

The company, an outgrowth of the research labs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , is based in Watertown, Mass. along the Route 128 technology corridor. It was founded in 2001 with a $100,000 grant from the Department of Energy, and now has facilities in 10 countries. The firm has around 1,700 employees, mostly located abroad.

Analysts give the company credit for developing a very competitive technology that relied on the nanotechnology research from MIT.

Since then then it has raised money from venture capital funds and a few high profile companies, including General Electric (GE) and Motorola (MOT).

The firm recently won a $250 million grant from the federal government to build a production facility outside Detroit - the second largest grant awarded in a recent $2.4 billion round of stimulus-related funding. The factory will complement production facilities the company already has in Asia.

And Asia is probably the biggest reason A123 is so closely watched. The firm is one of just a few American companies that are competing with much larger Asian rivals for the potentially lucrative hybrid and plug-in electric car battery market...MORE