Johnson Controls says it has officially withdrawn from the bankruptcy auction to acquire portions of A123 Systems and has refuted claims its plans would have seen Michigan jobs lost.

The component supplier declined to match a higher bid for A123 put forward by Wanxiang.

A123 selected Wanxiang’s bid of US$257m against a set of competing complementary bids by Johnson Controls for the automotive and government assets and NEC for the grid and commercial assets.

The final sale is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court and a hearing is currently scheduled for tomorrow (11 December).

The sale to Wanxiang is also subject to review by the Committee for Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) and requires approval by the American government.

“While A123’s automotive and government assets were complementary to Johnson Controls’ portfolio and aligned with our long-term goals, Wanxiang’s offer was beyond the value of those assets to Johnson Controls,” said Johnson Controls Power Solutions president, Alex Molinaroli.

“Reports by other parties our proposal involved an elimination of jobs in Michigan are inaccurate.

“Johnson Controls remains committed to the advanced battery industry and shares the Department of Energy’s goal to advance the domestic capability in the US.”