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    LAC   CA53680Q2071

LITHIUM AMERICAS CORP.

(LAC)
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Lithium Americas makes $400 mln bid for Millennial to rival China's CATL

11/01/2021 | 10:41am EST

Nov 1 (Reuters) - Lithium Americas Corp made a $400 million stock-and-cash offer for Argentina-focused lithium developer Millennial Lithium Corp on Monday, seeking to outbid China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) for a promising source of the ultra-light battery metal.

The bidding war comes amidst surging demand for lithium ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs), with many global automakers planning to have fully electric fleets https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/eu-proposes-effective-ban-new-fossil-fuel-car-sales-2035-2021-07-14 by 2035. There are not enough global lithium projects under development, though, to meet that target.

Millennial's Pastos Grandes lithium project in Argentina is "an asset that we see a lot of value in, and we feel we can unlock that value," Jon Evans, the Lithium Americas chief executive, told Reuters.

The company's experience building the Cauchari https://www.reuters.com/article/lithium-americas-ganfeng-lithium-idCNL1N2A704J lithium project with Ganfeng Lithium Co near Pastos Grandes should be appealing to Millennial's shareholders, Evans said. CATL, the world's largest EV battery manufacturer https://www.reuters.com/technology/chinas-catl-looks-raise-9-bln-expand-lithium-ion-battery-production-2021-08-13, does not produce lithium.

Lithium Americas is also developing the Thacker Pass https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/native-americans-lose-bid-halt-digging-nevada-lithium-mine-site-2021-09-03 lithium mine in Nevada. That and Cauchari will remain the company's focus, with Millennial a "potential future development," Evans said.

Each Millennial shareholder would receive C$4.70 ($3.80) per share, payable in Lithium Americas common shares, and C$0.001 in cash. Millennial shareholders will own about 9.9% of Lithium Americas, based on the company's closing price on Friday.

Shares of Millennial rose 27% in Monday morning trading, while shares of Lithium Americas fell about 2%.

A buyout of Millennial would give Lithium Americas an additional 24,000 tonnes per year of battery-quality lithium carbonate for 40 years.

The Lithium Americas offer trumped a C$3.85 per share bid that CATL made in September https://www.reuters.com/article/millennial-lithi-ma-catl/chinese-battery-maker-catl-to-acquire-canadas-millennial-lithium-idUSL4N2QU467, which in turn had outbid July's offer of C$3.60 per share from Ganfeng https://www.reuters.com/article/millennial-lithi-m-a-ganfeng-lithium/chinas-ganfeng-lithium-outbid-in-battle-for-ma-target-millennial-idUSKBN2G51X8, the largest Lithium Americas shareholder.

Evans said he did not see the Lithium Americas offer as reflective of any broader fight between two Chinese companies for Argentina lithium assets.

"There's no geopolitical angle at all. We purely look at this as an exciting future," he said.

Millennial has given CATL until Nov. 16 to revise the offer to match the proposal from Lithium Americas.

($1 = 1.2378 Canadian dollars) (Additional reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Mark Potter)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CONTEMPORARY AMPEREX TECHNOLOGY CO., LIMITED -3.30% 586.8 End-of-day quote.-0.20%
GANFENG LITHIUM CO., LTD. 1.52% 129.43 End-of-day quote.-9.39%
LITHIUM AMERICAS CORP. -2.75% 36.74 Delayed Quote.2.61%
MILLENNIAL LITHIUM CORP. -1.75% 4.5 Delayed Quote.0.22%
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Financials
Sales 2021 - - -
Net income 2021 -74,3 M -59,4 M -59,4 M
Net cash 2021 294 M 235 M 235 M
P/E ratio 2021 -65,0x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 4 415 M 3 522 M 3 529 M
EV / Sales 2021 -
EV / Sales 2022 33,5x
Nbr of Employees 353
Free-Float 83,3%
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Number of Analysts 13
Last Close Price 36,74 CAD
Average target price 45,23 CAD
Spread / Average Target 23,1%
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Managers and Directors
Jonathan D. Evans President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Eduard K. Epshtein Chief Financial Officer
George Ring Ireland Non-Executive Chairman
Rene James William Leblanc Chief Technical Officer
Xiao Shen Wang Independent Director