Chengdu Tianqi Says Australia Clears Talison Lithium Offer
Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co., a closely held Chinese maker of battery chemicals, said the Australian government cleared its proposed C$806 million ($808 million) takeover of Talison Lithium Ltd.
Chengdu Tianqi was advised by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board that it had no objections, the Chengdu, Sichuan Province-based company said yesterday in a statement. The company said it can now proceed with a purchase of 5.73 million Talison shares to bring its stake to 20 percent.
Chengdu Tianqi made its unsolicited C$7.15-a-share bid for Australia-based Talison on Nov. 19, trumping an agreed C$6.50-a-share offer from Rockwood Holdings Inc. (ROC) that was announced in August. The bidders are vying for one of the four companies that control most of the world’s production of lithium, a metal used in batteries for electric cars and laptop computers.
Talison said yesterday that it postponed Nov. 29 meetings for investors to vote on the offer from Princeton, New Jersey-based Rockwood until Dec. 13. Talison said separately that it’s still in talks with Chengdu Tianqi.
Talison, based in Perth, Western Australia state, rose 2.8 percent to C$6.97 yesterday in Toronto trading.
Chengdu Tianqi said Nov. 19 it has Chinese government approvals for the deal. Rockwood said Nov. 21 its own bid is the company’s best and final offer.
Talison produces lithium concentrate in the Western Australian town of Greenbushes, about 250 kilometers (156 miles) south of Perth, and also has a lithium brine project in northern Chile, according to Talison’s website. The Chilean salt lakes are owned by Talison and its local partners.
Talison this month reported profit jumped to A$4.67 million ($4.9 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30 from A$1.61 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter rose 10 percent to A$28.5 million, the company said.
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