China’s Ganfeng to buy Millennial Lithium for up to $280m as price of the metal surges

Photo: Possessed Photography / Unsplash

China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd said on Friday it would buy Argentina-focused Millennial Lithium Corp for about C$353 million ($280 million), extending a deal spree by one of the world’s biggest producers of the white metal.

Prices for lithium, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, are up more than 65% year-to-date in China amid resurgent demand following a three-year downturn.

The bid by Ganfeng unit GFL International at C$3.60 per share is a premium of 8.4% to Vancouver-based Millennial’s closing price of C$3.32 on Thursday, the company said in a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Millennial recommended that shareholders support the offer, which it said had unanimous board approval and backing from its largest investor.

The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, provides “a very attractive opportunity for Millennial’s shareholders to realize full liquidity at a substantial premium to the current share price,” CEO Farhad Abasov said.

Ganfeng has so far this year agreed to buy the shares it does not already own in Mexico-focused Bacanora Lithium for $264.5 million, as well as stakes in a lithium mine in Mali and a salt lake in China for $130 million and 1.47 billion yuan ($227 million), respectively.

Millennial has two non-producing lithium brine projects — Pastos Grandes and Cauchari East — in northern Argentina close to Ganfeng‘s existing operations in the country, which include a joint venture with Lithium Americas Corp

Ganfeng said this week it expects first-half net profit to rise up to 922.5% year-on-year to as much as 1.6 billion yuan, having earlier forecast a rise of 411.2-666.9%, as the lithium price rally helps fund its expansion plans.

Reuters

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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.