Battle to acquire Millenial Lithium heats up as Lithium Americas outbids battery maker CATL

by John Shepherd
The Pastos Grandes Lithium Project in Argentina being developed by Millennial. Image: Millennial Lithium
Canada’s Lithium Americas has made a bid to acquire mining company Millennial Lithium for around $400m (£293m) – an offer that could thwart a previously announced deal between Millenial and Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).

CATL said last month it had agreed a deal to acquire Millenial for the equivalent of around $305m, as companies scramble to strengthen their access to battery materials supply chains for electric vehicles.

However, Millennial said CATL now has until 16 November to revise its offer. If CATL does not submit a revised proposal, and its agreement with Millenial is terminated, Lithium Americas said it would pay the termination costs.

If the Lithium Americas deal goes ahead, about 9.9% of that company would be owned by Millennial’s shareholders.

'Attractive opportunity'

CATL had outbid China’s Ganfeng Lithium earlier this year to secure its agreement to acquire Millenial, which is focused on developing the Pastos Grandes Lithium Project in Salta, Argentina.
Lithium Americas’ president and CEO Jonathan Evans said: "In proximity to Caucharí-Olaroz, Millennial’s 100%-owned Pastos Grandes lithium brine project represents an attractive regional growth opportunity.”

"As we bring Caucharí-Olaroz into production over the next year and continue to advance our stage two expansion planning, the addition of this highly complementary lithium brine resource further enhances our long-term growth strategy in Argentina and leverages our technical and development expertise.”

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