Chinese top lithium producer, Ganfeng Lithium, falls short of raising its anticipated US$676 million in its Hong Kong initial public offering.

According to the terms of the deal, the Jiangxi-based company was offering 200.2 million shares priced at between HK$16.50 to HK$26.50. Sources have, however, confirmed that Ganfeng had priced its offering at the bottom end of the range: HK$16.50.

Six cornerstone investors have committed to buy approximately US$230 million in stock, including Korean battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI, which have agreed to purchase US$50 million of shares each.

Other cornerstone investors include the China Structure Reform Fund, Dong Feng asset management and GSR Capital.

The Shenzhen-listed company will use part of the money for acquisitions, further exploration and to expand capacity to meet rapidly growing demand from the electric vehicle sector.

Some of the funds from the offering will also be used to further develop Ganfeng’s partnership with Lithium Americas, which is developing the Cauchari-Olaroz project in Argentina.

According to CRU Group, Ganfeng is the world’s third-largest lithium compounds producer and the world’s largest lithium metals producer in terms of production capacity.

The company has interests in six lithium resources in Australia, Argentina, China and Ireland, but its primary source of lithium raw materials is Mount Marion in Western Australia.

In September of this year, the Chinese producer signed a deal to supply lithium hydroxide products for Tesla’s batteries. The agreement is set to commence this year and run until 2020, with the potential of being extended by three years.

Earlier in September, Ganfeng agreed a deal with battery maker LG Chem to almost double its supply of battery materials from 2019 to 2025.

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