Perth-based company Talison Lithium will be acquired by its largest customer, the Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group, under a deal that will see the company pay Can$7.50 for each share in a scheme of arrangement valued at Can$848 million. The deal also stipulates a US$25 million cash deposit must be paid by Tianqi as a reverse break fee.

Talison says the Tianqi scheme represents a superior proposal than a previous offer from Rockwood which included a share price of Can$6.50.

Talison chairman Peter Robinson says, “Talison is pleased to have reached agreement with Tianqi at the increased price of Can$7.50 per share under the Tianqi schemes. This price represents an attractive premium for security holders relative to the price under the Rockwood proposal and reflects positively on Talison’s position in the global lithium market. We look forward to successfully implementing the transaction with Tianqi.”

Tianqi is one of the largest producers of lithium chemicals in China.

Talison says approval of the Tianqi schemes will be put to shareholders at meetings in late February 2013 and the Tianqi schemes are expected to be completed shortly thereafter. Termination of the Scheme Implementation Agreement with Rockwood will result in Talison paying a Can$7 million break fee. Macquarie Capital is acting as financial advisor to Talison, and the company has secured Clayton Utz and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP as legal advisors.

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