Wesfarmers takes control of Kidman Resources

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

Wesfarmers has executed its acquisition of Kidman Resources by completing a $776 million deal.

The takeover has given Wesfarmers a 50 per cent interest in the Mt Holland lithium joint venture (JV) project in Western Australia, with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (SQM) holding the remaining stake.

The Mt Holland project comprises a mine and concentrator and refinery, and is expected to be a significant producer of battery-grade lithium hydroxide to supply the electric vehicle market.

Wesfarmers’s takeover allows it to participate in the development of a large-scale, high-grade lithium hydroxide project with a global leader in the lithium industry, according to managing director Rob Scott.

“It leverages and builds on the existing strengths and chemical processing capabilities within our chemicals, energy and fertilisers business, while supporting Western Australia’s ambition to become a global hub for downstream lithium processing,” Scott said.

Wesfarmers has developed its own plan in relation to the development of Mt Holland and planned to spend a further $700 million before its first production in 2022.

The Australian conglomerate paid $1.90 cash per Kidman share to the shareholders upon execution of the deal.

Kidman’s board unanimously recommended that shareholders back the scheme once an independent expert concluded it was in their best interests.

Four of Kidman’s board members have resigned from the company under the terms of the takeover agreement.

Kidman was today de-listed from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.