China’s Tianqi gets Chilean court nod to buy stake in lithium firm SQM

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of the brine pools and processing plant of the SQM lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/File Photo

Chile’s antitrust court approved on Thursday a deal struck between Chilean regulators and Tianqi, allowing the Chinese miner to purchase a nearly one-quarter stake in lithium producer SQM.

Chilean antitrust watchdog FNE and Tianqi had presented the agreement, intended to limit the exchange of commercially sensitive information between the two companies, to Chile’s antitrust court in September.

It was approved by the five-member court without conditions.

“The approval of this extrajudicial agreement does not prevent third parties with a legitimate interest, who think that the facts in this agreement … affect free competition, from taking whatever action they feel is most appropriate,” the court said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

The agreement stipulates that Tianqi cannot name any of its executives or employees to SQM’s board, and requires that the Chinese miner notify regulators of any future, lithium-related deal struck with either SQM or rival Albemarle.

In a statement, Tianqi said the deal ensured competition in the lithium market would be maintained.

“With this resolution, and considering the timeline, we anticipate the transaction will be completed in the last quarter of 2018,” Tianqi said.

SQM, which had objected to the deal on the grounds it did not go far enough to limit Tianqi‘s access to corporate secrets and sensitive information, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Chile’s antitrust regulator launched an investigation in June, shortly after Tianqi said it would buy 24 percent of SQM for $4.1 billion, giving it a coveted stake in one of the world’s top producers of lithium, a key component in the batteries that power everything from cellphones to electric vehicles.

Beijing is aggressively promoting electric vehicles to combat air pollution and help China’s domestic carmakers leapfrog the combustion engine to build global brands.

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.