Source: Bloomberg News | 2012-11-20 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
CHENGDU Tianqi Industry Group Co, a closely-held Chinese maker of battery chemicals, has made an unsolicited C$673 million (US$675 million) bid for Australia's Talison Lithium Ltd, trumping an offer from Rockwood Holdings Inc of the US.
Chengdu Tianqi will pay C$7.15 a share for the 85 percent of Toronto-listed Talison it doesn't already control, the Sichuan Province-based company said in a statement yesterday. The bid is 10 percent more than New Jersey-based Rockwood's offer announced in August.
Chengdu Tianqi said it has Chinese government approval for the deal and isn't aware of any reason why it wouldn't get the go-ahead from Australia.
Lithium is used in batteries for iPads, laptop computers and electric cars. Global demand is projected to double by 2020 as the electric vehicle and energy storage markets expand, according to analysts at Dahlman Rose & Co. Talison, Rockwood, Philadelphia-based FMC Corp and Chile's Soc Quimica & Minera de Chile SA control about 90 percent of lithium production, analysts at Jefferies & Co said in a June report.
"Talison is the world's largest producer of lithium used in glass and ceramics, so this would be quite a coup for the Chinese," said Jack Lifton, a senior fellow at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, which studies the links between energy and security.