Lithium Australia fails in Lepidico takeover pursuit

Image: Lithium Australia

Lithium Australia’s attempt at a $23.8 million takeover of Lepidico has been unsuccessful.

In February, Lithium Australia unveiled its bid for Lepidico, which is also an explorer and developer of lithium assets and technology.

The offer was not recommended by Lepidico’s board and was considered “neither fair nor reasonable” by an independent expert.

The conditional, off-market bid involved one Lithium Australia share for every 13.25 Lepidico shares. The offer represented a 13 per cent premium on the February 3 closing prices of both companies on the ASX, and a nine per cent premium on the 10-day volume weighted average prices (VWAP).

Lithium Australia received acceptances for just 0.6 per cent of Lepidico’s shares.

Both companies are developing new lithium extraction technologies. Lithium Australia is advancing a technology known as Sileach, while Lepidico is developing its L-Max process.

The two companies have been involved in court proceedings over the development of these technologies.

In November 2016, Lithium Australia lodged an application with the Supreme Court of Western Australia, seeking a declaration that it had the right to exploit the Sileach process.

Lepidico countered this move by alleging that Lithium Australia was developing Sileach without authorisation and had exploited the intellectual property in its L-Max technology.

The matter has since been resolved with both companies continuing to develop their respective lithium extraction technologies.

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