Allens, Clifford Chance on $1 Billion Lithium JV

, The Asian Lawyer

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Allens and Clifford Chance have had the lead role on a $1 billion deal which will see Princeton, N.J.-based specialty chemical company Rockwood Holdings Inc. and China’s Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group form a joint venture to share ownership of Australian lithium producer Talison Lithium Pty Ltd.
 
The JV deal will see Tianqi, which bought Talison in February for $796 million, will continue to hold a 51 percent interest in Perth-based Talison, with the remainder going to Rockwood. As part of the agreement, Tianqi will provide $204 million in equity to the venture while Rockwood will contribute $196 million and a two-year secured loan of $670 million.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

Talison produces lithium concentrate, which is widely used to make batteries for electronic devices and is also an ingredient in certain kinds of glass and ceramic. The company exports over 350,000 tons of lithium products annually.

Sydney partners Guy Alexander, Marcus Clark, Fiona Crosbie and Mark Kidston and Perth partner Mark McAleer led the Allens team advising Chengdu Tianqi.

Clifford Chance Frankfurt partner Arndt Stengel, Perth partner Michael Lishman, Hong Kong partner Emma Davies and Düsseldorf partner Marc Besen acted for Rockwood.

Email: azhang@alm.com.

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