Australian lithium miner Orocobre Ltd (ORE.AX) is buying smaller domestic peer Galaxy Resources (GXY.AX) for $1.4 billion to create the world’s fifth most valuable producer of the key raw material for electric vehicle batteries.
The all-stock deal for A$1.78 billion ($1.38 billion)announced on Monday, which will also establish Australia’s most valuable lithium miner with a A$4 billion market capitalisation, comes as demand for the material is booming amid a jump in global sales of electric vehicles.
The new entity will have hard rock, brine, and chemicals assets across Australia, Argentina, Canada and Japan, and will be able to accelerate development and sell into global markets.
“It’s overwhelmingly positive. On a high level, you have got significant synergies with both businesses having an Argentina base,” said analyst Reg Spencer of broker Canaccord Genuity.
Shares of both companies hit more than three year highs in early trade, with Orocobre gaining about 6% to A$6.56 and Galaxy rising 4% to A$3.75.