Australia’s Kidman Resources agrees to $534m Wesfarmers takeover offer

A shopper selects wood products at a Wesfarmers Ltd. Bunnings Warehouse store in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, July 28, 2011. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

Australian lithium miner Kidman Resources on Thursday agreed to be acquired by Wesfarmers for A$776 million ($534 million) in a deal that will give the retail conglomerate entry into the booming electric vehicle market.

The two companies entered into a scheme implementation deed after Wesfarmers, which launched its bid for Kidman earlier this month, completed due diligence, the parties said in separate statements.

The A$1.90 per share bid is subject to a shareholder vote, which is likely to be held in August, the lithium miner said. Kidman directors and major shareholders plan to support to the deal.

“The Kidman Board has concluded unanimously that realisation of a significant premium to the undisturbed market value … is in the best interests of all our shareholders,” Kidman Chairman John Pizzey said.

The offer was pitched at a 47 percent premium to Kidman‘s last closing price on May 1.

Wesfarmers said it expects to spend about A$700 million to develop Kidman‘s Mt Holland lithium project, with first production of lithium hydroxide targeted in the second half of 2022.

The conglomerate has also signed an agreement with Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A (SQM), Kidman‘s joint venture partner at Mt Holland, which would prevent the Chilean company from entering talks with any party proposing to make a competing offer for Kidman.

Wesfarmers’ bid for Kidman followed closely on a $1.1 billion offer for rare earths producer Lynas Corp, which has so far strenuously fended off its suitor.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.