Lithium M&A continues with bid for Azure Minerals

Merger and acquisition activity in the lithium industry is moving at a brisk pace. Azure Minerals, which is developing a lithium mine in Australia, has accepted a takeover bid from Chile’s SQM that values Azure at more than $1 billion. The deal requires 75% shareholder approval. In July, Azure rejected a $585 million bid from SQM, which is the company’s largest shareholder with a roughly 20% stake. SQM has also made smaller investments in early-stage lithium miners. It recently agreed to buy a minority stake in Pirra Lithium and is financing exploration activities for Dart Mining in return for equity interest. In addition, Chile’s state-owned mining company, Codelco, will acquire Lithium Power International in a deal worth $244 million. Lithium Power is developing a lithium mine in Chile’s Maricunga salt flat. These acquisition moves follow the recent collapse of Albemarle’s offer to acquire Liontown Resources in a $4.3 billion deal. Other recent deals include Mineral Resources’ acquisition of the Bald Hill mine in Australia and Develop Global’s plan to buy the lithium miner Essential Metals.

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