Johnson Controls Inc. and French company Saft have parted ways, with the new JCI lithium-ion battery plant in Holland now simply designated Johnson Controls.
JCI, a major Milwaukee-based, long-time producer of conventional lead-acid automotive batteries for the U.S. market, formed a joint venture with Saft in 2006 to develop and manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
The erstwhile partners were in litigation earlier this year and reached an agreement to sever their relationship effective Sept. 30.
According to Johnson Controls spokesperson Rebecca Fitzgerald, Johnson Controls has acquired Saft’s share of the joint venture for $145 million in cash. Johnson Controls will also receive an expanded perpetual license for worldwide use of certain lithium-ion technology that was developed by Saft.
“All assets of the joint venture, including the company’s new plant in Holland, Michigan, are retained by Johnson Controls,” according to a statement Fitzgerald provided to the Business Journal.
The joint venture’s other facility in Nersac, France, will be transferred to Saft at the end of 2012. JCI and Saft also have agreed to terminate all legal proceedings between them.
Since Oct. 1, Johnson Controls has been operating the Holland plant under the Johnson Controls name and will fulfill the company’s existing contracts and work with customers and suppliers accordingly. The Holland plant has been assembling battery packs for the electric Ford Transit light commercial vans for about a year now. Fitzgerald said there are at least 75 people working there.
Johnson Controls is a publicly held global corporation with customers in more than 150 countries and 154,000 employees. In addition to lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles, JCI produces interior systems for automobiles and energy controls for buildings.