Talison Lithium Ltd., an Australian producer of the metal, said it will begin talks with Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co. to determine if the Chinese company’s C$806 million ($809 million) takeover bid is “superior” to Rockwood Holdings Inc.’s competing offer.
Talison will consider factors including the funding of Chengdu Tianqi’s C$7.15-a-share bid and its timing, the Perth-based company said in a statement today.
U.S. chemicals producer Rockwood agreed in August to acquire Talison for C$6.50 a share. That’s Rockwood’s best and final offer, the Princeton, New Jersey-based company said yesterday in a statement.
Lithium is used in batteries for iPads, laptop computers and electric cars. Global demand is seen doubling by 2020 as markets for electric vehicles and energy storage expand, according to analysts at Dahlman Rose & Co. Talison, Rockwood, Philadelphia-based FMC Corp. and Chile’s Soc. Quimica & Minera de Chile SA control more than 90 percent of the metal’s production, analysts at Longbow Research said in an August report.
Talison dropped 2.6 percent to C$6.72 at the close in Toronto. Its shareholders are due to vote on Rockwood’s bid on Nov. 29. Talison said today that if the company decides to adjourn the meeting, it will make an announcement in the next two days.
Chengdu Tianqi, a closely held company based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, converts raw lithium into chemicals used in batteries.