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Bankrupt Alevo Says It Has A $5M Offer For Most Of Its Assets

Duncan McFadyen

A bankruptcy court filing shows that a high-tech battery maker in Concord has found a buyer for most of its assets. The filing by Alevo Manufacturing Inc. says an unidentified bidder has contracted to buy most of the equipment, raw materials and other assets for $5 million.

The sale is expected to close Tuesday, according to the filing.  

Alevo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last August and laid off nearly 300 workers at its Concord factory, the former Philip Morris cigarette plant off U.S. 29.  Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law allows a company to avoid paying debts while it reorganizes.  A judge recently approved the company’s request to shift that to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows it to shut permanently and sell off all its assets.

The Swiss-based company opened the plant in 2014, with plans to build battery arrays for big energy companies. Among other things, the batteries were aimed at storing energy from wind and solar power.

But Alevo had unspecified "production challenges" and sales never got off the ground, officials said when they announced the shutdown.  The company also reported financial problems at its Swiss parent.

A federal bankruptcy court earlier this month approved the asset sale to the unnamed bidder. The filing says the bidder is actually a group of buyers, including one unnamed public company. It includes most of the factory's industrial and office equipment, raw materials and other assets.

Court documents say the $5 million offer for the assets would generate more revenue than if the items were sold separately. That's after an earlier attempt to auction the items by industrial auction house Hilco. Cash from the sale would go to pay off Alevo's creditors, who include equipment and raw material suppliers, contractors, Duke Energy and government tax offices.  According to bankruptcy filings, the company owes more than $10 million to more than 100 creditors.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.