Battery Maker A123 Files for Chapter 11 Protection

Electric-car-battery manufacturer A123 Systems Inc., the recipient of nearly $250 million in government grants, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday with a plan to sell its auto-business assets to auto-parts maker Johnson Controls Inc.

The Waltham, Mass., company and two affiliates sought creditor protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., a day after it said it would be unable to make a $2.8 million interest payment to bondholders due Monday. Those bondholders, owed $143.8 million plus interest, are listed as the battery maker’s largest unsecured creditor.

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