THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Monday, 26 November 2012 08:41
The battle for control of Talison Lithium and its South West Greenbushes mine was heating up, with rival suitor Chengdu Tianqi receiving Federal Government approval for its $C791 million ($761 million) proposed takeover of the company.
The approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board for the Toronto listed Talison came late on Friday night, less than a week after Chengdu's rival bid - which values the lithium producer at $C7.15 a share - was announced to the Toronto market.
Chengdu's bid comes almost three months after the initial takeover proposal from US materials and chemicals giant Rockwood Holdings, which valued the company at $C6.50 a share ($C742 million).
Rockwood has said it will not become involved in a bidding war for Talison, paving the way for the privately-held Chinese company - the world's largest hard rock lithium converter - to take control pending board recommendation and shareholder approval.
Talison revealed late on Friday it had pushed back the shareholder meetings to vote on the Rockwood proposal, originally due to take place on Thursday, until 13 December.
Although the company stressed no decision had been made, it is understood the meetings were delayed so Talison board members could continue discussions with Chengdu to determine whether the conditional offer was "superior" to Rockwood's. Talison has delayed a final investment decision on a $200 million lithium carbonate downstream processing plant in Kwinana, due to the takeover proposals.
However both Chengdu and Rockwood have indicated their commitment to the plant.
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