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Boston-Power to double its workforce

Battery maker gets new cash injection

By Bonnie Kavoussi
Globe Correspondent / June 25, 2010

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Boston-Power Inc. in Westborough, producer of high-tech batteries, plans to nearly double its workforce in the next three years, both in Massachusetts and worldwide.

The company will fund the expansion with $60 million raised from current investors, according to chief executive Christina Lampe-Onnerud. Boston-Power is also planning to build a factory in either Europe or China to make storage and electric car batteries.

“We are basically growing a global company,’’ she said.

Lampe-Onnerud said that while the company intends to keep its base in Massachusetts, not all of its new US workers will necessarily be located in the state.

She added that the company sees “a lot of possibilities’’ in China. “It’s becoming a real engine in the world economy,’’ she said.

About 110 staffers, the company’s total US workforce, work in Massachusetts, while around 400 — mostly factory workers in Taiwan — are abroad, according to Lampe-Onnerud. Boston-Power plans to expand its overseas workforce to approximately 1,000 workers, largely in manufacturing, Lampe-Onnerud said.

In Massachusetts, Boston-Power plans to hire engineers and sales and marketing staff, according to Sally Bament, vice president of marketing.

Bament said that Massachusetts remains important to the company because Boston-Power’s engineers and businesspeople — their “core expertise’’ — live here, and the company benefits from the state’s technology base.

The company, which was founded in 2005 and makes laptop batteries for Hewlett-Packard, had planned to build an electric car battery factory in Auburn that would have employed about 600 workers. But those plans were dashed last summer, when the company, which hoped to receive a federal grant of $100 million in stimulus funds, was bypassed.

With the new, $60 million investment — largely from Foundation Asset Management of Stockholm and Oak Investment Partners of Westport, Conn. — total investment in the company has reached $185 million since 2005.

Boston-Power will also disclose today that Oak Investment Partners managing partner Bandel Carano has assumed the chairmanship of Boston-Power’s board and that Allan Kwan, an Oak Investment Partners venture partner with expertise in Chinese business operations, was named to the board.

Bonnie Kavoussi can be reached at bkavoussi@globe.com.

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