Hancock Prospecting and SQM Jointly Venture for Azure Minerals Takeover

Hancock Prospecting and SQM Jointly Venture for Azure Minerals Takeover

Hancock and SQM Partner for $1.7bn Azure Bid

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting collaborates with global lithium giant SQM in a $1.7 billion joint takeover of Azure Minerals. The move signifies Hancock’s entry into the Western Australian lithium sector, partnering with SQM through SH Mining, a company shared equally between Hancock’s Hanrine Future Metals and SQM.

Strategic Board Appointments

The deal involves strategic appointments, with Hancock’s Jay Newby and Tad Watroba joining the board of SH Mining, suggesting a long-term partnership with SQM over Hancock’s lithium projects in Western Australia. This partnership could lead to significant development in the region’s lithium industry.

Revised Bid Structure

The joint takeover bid elevates the offer to $3.70 per share, contingent on shareholder approval, with a fallback price of $3.65 per share. This revised bid represents an improvement over SQM’s previous solo offer for Azure and is structured to maneuver the complex shareholder dynamics involving Mark Creasy, Chris Ellison, and other key stakeholders.

Joint Control Despite Opposition

The intricate structure of the deal allows Hancock and SQM to gain control of Azure, even if Mineral Resources (MinRes) chooses to remain a minority shareholder. Shareholders will first vote on combining Hancock and SQM’s shareholdings for the takeover, followed by a scheme vote. This arrangement provides a pathway for joint control, circumventing potential opposition. icon

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