January 2, 2013
The Boston Globe
Chinese investment in the US hits record level
Wanxiang Group deal with Mass. firm helps set mark
Chinese investment in American businesses hit a record $6.5 billion in 2012, with the third largest deal closing in Massachusetts when China’s biggest auto parts maker invested in a Cambridge alternative energy firm.
In May, auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group agreed to take a $420 million minority stake in GreatPoint Energy, which is working to make synthetic natural gas out of coal, as part of a $1.25 billion deal to build a coal-to-gas conversion plant in Western China.
Wanxiang’s North American arm, meanwhile, is finalizing a $256.6 million acquisition of bankrupt Waltham battery make A123 Systems Inc. — a deal that is expected to help make 2013 another record year for Chinese investment in the United States.
Several other big Chinese investments are waiting to close this year, including a $4.2 billion deal to purchase an 80 percent stake in AIG’s aviation leasing unit, said Thilo Hanemann, research director at Rhodium Group, a New York investment research firm. He said Chinese firms, at a minimum, will invest some $5 billion in US companies.
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