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Princeton chemical manufacturer pays $732M for Australian firm

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Princeton-based chemical manufacturer Rockwood Holdings Inc. today agreed to acquire Australia-based Talison Lithium Ltd. for $732 million in cash to expand its battery-grade lithium production to an international customer base.

“The acquisition of Talison is the logical next step in further strengthening our lithium business and enhancing our capabilities,” said Seifi Ghasemi, chairman and CEO of Rockwood, in a statement. “This acquisition will enable us to better serve both our existing global customers, as well as Talison’s current lithium concentrate customers in China and the rest of the world.”

Earlier this month, Talison doubled its lithium production capacity by expanding a plant in Western Australia, where it has been manufacturing the energy product used in batteries and mobile electronics for more than 25 years. The company exports more than 350,000 metric tons of lithium each year, according to its website.

Rockwood announced it will pay Talison 6.50 Canadian dollars — or $6.58 — per share, and it intends to finance the acquisition with the cash on its balance sheet and new debt financing. The pricing is in Canadian dollars because Talison is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Talison’s board unanimously recommended the deal to shareholders, but the acquisition still awaits their approval, and is subject to customary closing conditions.


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