A123Systems IPO Massively Exceeds Estimates

[Updated 4:15 p.m. 9/24/09 with A123System’ closing stock price for the day, see below] A123Systems, the Watertown, MA-based developer of advanced lithium-ion batteries for cars and power tools, said this morning that it has priced its initial public offering of 27.5 million shares of common stock at $13.50 per share—way above the $8 to $9.50 per share range of the IPO price it disclosed earlier this month.

Reuters reported last night that the IPO helped the company (NASDAQ:AONE) to raise $380.4 million, exceeding the company’s previous expectations for its maiden stock offering. The shares begin trading today, so we’ll be watching whether the company’s stock makes any significant movement. [Update: At the 4:00 p.m. close of the NASDAQ market, A123Systems was trading at $20.29, a whopping 50.3 percent above the $13.50 opening price.]

A123 has been on a roll lately. The company—which has secured deals to provide its next-generation lithium-ion cells to automakers such as BMW, Chrysler, and General Motors—won a $249 million grant last month from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the development of manufacturing facilities for its auto batteries in Michigan. The firm appears to be well positioned to benefit from the expected surge in the market for lithium ion batteries for electric hybrid autos, as we recently reported in a story that took a broad look at the this industry. Founded in 2001 as a spinout of an MIT lab, A123 is also making batteries for handheld power tools made by Black & Decker and for electricity grid power storage.

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