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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chinese Company to Rescue Ailing U.S. Firm

SHANGHAI, China -- A Chinese state-owned chemical company has agreed to rescue a U.S. battery manufacturer from bankruptcy and continue its global manufacturing operations, a deal both sides called the first of its kind between the United States and China.

Shanghai Huayi Group will take over the operations of Moltech Power Systems, a Gainesville, Florida, company that makes rechargeable batteries and that filed for Chapter 11 protection last year. An announcement of the deal is expected to be made Monday in New York.

Huayi will continue Moltech's operations in Florida, Britain and Mexico under existing management. It also plans to open a new plant in Shanghai, where it will eventually consolidate some of the company's operations, including a plant Moltech used in the southern city of Guangzhou, company officials said.

The officials declined to disclose financial terms.

Martin Higgins, the chief executive, said in a statement: "The result is that Moltech is part of a larger, more stable business with a demand for our products and an interest in supporting our growth in a wide range of portable markets."

Chinese companies have bought the assets of failed overseas companies in the past, though usually in order to transfer manufacturing equipment back to China. This deal, Moltech executives and Chinese officials said, is a rare effort by a state-controlled conglomerate to acquire and operate a foreign business globally.