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A123Systems Gets $69M To Expand Facilities

Maker of lithium-ion batteries and vehicle battery systems has raised $69 million from investors to speed the expansion of its facilities in Massachusetts and Michigan.

WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- A123Systems said Monday it has raised $69 million from General Electric Co. and other investors to speed the expansion of its U.S. lithium-ion battery manufacturing and smart grid capabilities.

A123, which makes lithium-ion batteries and battery systems, said the funding will allow it to expand its facilities in Massachusetts and Michigan, as well as build planned new factories in Michigan.

In addition, the funding will help it develop applications for the grid, such as utility-scale energy storage, A123 said.

GE provided $15 million of the amount raised by A123, marking its seventh investment in A123 and making it the company's largest cash investor. It also brings GE's cumulative investment to $70 million and increases its ownership stake to more than ten percent.

In connection with GE's investment, Mark Little, senior vice president and director GE Global Research, will join A123's board.

A123 said it's also looking for funding under federal and state stimulus and other programs to ramp up its production capabilities in Michigan.

A123 said its planned production facilities would be capable of producing battery systems for 5 million hybrid electric vehicles or a 500,000 plug-in electric vehicles per year by 2013.

GE shares were up 20 cents to $11.53 in early trading.

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