Kidman shareholders give green light for Wesfarmers takeover

Wesfarmers' acquisition of Kidman Resources was the 10th biggest merger and acquisition deal of the 2019 financial year. Image: Kidman Resources

Wesfarmers’ $776 million bid to acquire Kidman Resources has been overwhelmingly backed by the lithium miner’s shareholders.

The $1.90 per share takeover offer was approved by over 94 per cent of votes at Kidman’s shareholder meeting yesterday.

It paves the way for Wesfarmers to take ownership of Kidman Resources should permission be granted by the Federal Court next week.

“This approval by Kidman shareholders is one of the most important milestones in our proposed acquisition of Kidman and subsequent participation in the development of the Mt Holland lithium project,” Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said.

“Subject to final court approval, completion of the transaction is expected to take place later this month.”

The acquisition paves the way for Wesfarmers to work alongside Kidman’s joint venture partner Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) in the development of a lithium hydroxide project in Western Australia.

This is set to include an integrated mine and lithium hydroxide plant, which Wesfarmers intends to spend a further $700 million on before first production in 2022.

The Kidman board previously had unanimously recommended that its shareholders back the scheme once an independent expert concluded it was in their best interests.

This followed the completion of a due diligence process which included Wesfarmers developing its own plan in relation to the development of the Mt Holland lithium project.

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