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China's CATL to buy Millennial Lithium for C$377 million

Highlights

6.9% premium to Ganfeng offer

CATL paid $10 million Ganfeng termination fee

Transaction to close January at the latest

Chinese battery maker CATL has won a a tug of war for Canada-based Millennial Lithium by offering C$377 million ($297 million) to secure lithium for its batteries.

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Millennial's offer -- worth C$3.85 per Millennial for share -- topped the C$3.60/share that Millennial accepted in July from Ganfeng Lithium.

Ganfeng has withdrawn its interest after receiving a $10 million break fee.

Millennial said its acquisition by CATL "removes future dilution risk associated with funding development of next phase of Pastos Grandes project".

In April, battery grade lithium carbonate of 99.96% purity was produced at the start-up of the pilot plant at the Pastos Grandes lithium brine project in Argentina's Salta Province.

Millennial also owns the Cauchari East lithium exploration project at Chile's Cauchari salar.

In recent months, CATL and other battery makers have been looking for opportunities to secure sustainable supply of raw materials.

On Sept. 27, CATL's Suzhou CATH Energy Technologies agreed to pay $240 million for a 49% equity interest in AVZ Minerals' Manono lithium and tin project in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since the start of 2021, CATL has also invested C$2.6 million to maintain its 8% equity interest in Neo Lithium, A$55 million ($40 million) for an 8.5% stake in Pilbara Minerals and $137.5 million for a 25% stake in China Molybdenum Co.'s 95%-owned Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine in the DRC.

The Millennial transaction, expected to close in Q4 or January 2022, remains subject to regulatory approvals and a shareholder vote to be held Nov. 15.