In August, Swiss battery maker Alevo closed its plant in Concord, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and laid off nearly 300 workers, a disappointing end to a once-promising start-up story.
Next week, Alevo’s equipment goes up for auction, but there is a potential silver lining: It’s possible a bidder could try to buy all of its equipment with an eye on restarting production one day.
“If it does sell in bulk that is a good thing for the community, and everyone would be happy,” said Andrew Duncan, a vice president with The Branford Group, which is conducting the auction with Hilco Industrial and Joseph Finn Auctioneers. “It’s hard for me to gauge what will happen.”
If a bulk buyer doesn’t emerge, the “Plan B” is to sell off the equipment lot by lot, Duncan said.
The online auction features “an unprecedented, multimillion dollar offering of late-model battery manufacturing lines, chemical processing equipment, facility support and a massive amount of inventory,” said James Gardner, senior vice president and partner at The Branford Group, in a statement. “The majority of the equipment was installed around 2016 and was never used in production, providing a real opportunity for any buyer.”
Alevo arrived in Cabarrus County in 2014 with great fanfare, vowing to create hundreds of jobs through its revolutionary energy-storage technology on the site of a former Philip Morris cigarette factory. But production and hiring lagged those projections.
The company gained attention last spring when a Russian billionaire emerged as a new investor, but his backing wasn’t enough to boost the company.
This auction opens 8 a.m. Tuesday and closes 10 a.m. Wednesday. For more information, see: www.thebranfordgroup.com/DNN3/Auction/ALEV0118.aspx.