The Lithium Sector Surge Is Poised to Ignite a Deals Bonanza – by David Stringer, Jack Farchy and Crystal Tse (Bloomberg News – March 21, 2018)

The tripling in lithium prices over three years is poised to fuel a multi-billion dollar rush of deals as major players jostle for dominance to supply the metal needed for the electric vehicle battery revolution.

China’s expected to lead a mergers and acquisition bonanza as companies seek to wrest more control of the market from Western rivals. The Asian nation accounted for more than half of global electric vehicle sales last year, which exceeded 1 million for the first time. And that’s just a taster of what’s to come as the government targets 7 million vehicles by 2025.

“You’ll see elevated activity this year driven mainly by the Chinese,” Chris Berry, a New York-based analyst on energy metals, and founder of House Mountain Partners LLC, said in an email. “The consolidation necessary in the space will start to happen now.”

China’s biggest supplier, Ganfeng Lithium Co., aims to deploy proceeds from a planned Hong Kong listing to extend an acquisition spree.

It could raise about $1 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the details, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The number of shares and proceeds haven’t been finalized pending approvals from the regulators, a company official said Tuesday.

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