11/04/2017 - 14:20

Little shareholder interest in Lepidico takeover

11/04/2017 - 14:20

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Lithium Australia’s $23.8 million takeover offer for lithium-focused rival Lepidico looks set to fall short, with the bidder lifting its stake to only 18.28 per cent a week out from the offer's closing date.

Little shareholder interest in Lepidico takeover
On-site testing of Lepidico's L-Max lithium extraction technology.

Lithium Australia’s $23.8 million takeover offer for lithium-focused rival Lepidico looks set to fall short, with the bidder lifting its stake to only 18.28 per cent a week out from the offer's closing date.

As of today, Lithium has received total acceptances of 18.02 per cent, which includes Lithium’s holding in the target (about 17.7 per cent) and pre-bid acceptances.

A further 56 Lepidico shareholders have taken up the offer, representing a further 0.26 per cent.

“The fact that Lithium Australia says in its second supplementary bidder’s statement that it is pleased with this outcome emphasises its board’s lack of ambition and emphasises its poor judgement in its flawed takeover offer for the company,” Lepidico said in its second supplementary target’s statement today.

“Prior to midnight on April 18, Lithium Australia’s board needs to decide whether or not to extend their ill-conceived and inadequate scrip takeover offer for Lepidico.

“Given the extremely low level of acceptances to date, Lithium Australia’s board should allow the offer to close. Any other course of action defies logic.”

Lepidico managing director Joe Walsh said Lithium’s offer stalled at the starting line.

“The offer is clearly inadequate and has failed to capture the interest of our shareholders,” he said.

“In the interests of both Lithium Australia and Lepidico shareholders, this offer should be aborted.

Lepidico maintains its commitment to delivering on its strategy and thereby maximising value for its shareholders."

It follows an independent expert’s report on the takeover offer released by BDO Corporate Finance late last month that labelled the bid as neither fair nor reasonable.

Lepidico shares were unchanged at 1.4 cents each at the close of trade, while Lithium shares were 2.2 per cent lower to 13.2 cents each.

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