Australia's Orocobre and Galaxy to merge to form world's fifth-largest lithium company
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April 19 (Reuters) - Australian lithium miner Orocobre Ltd ORE.AX said on Monday it would buy rival Galaxy Resources GXY.AX to form the world's fifth-largest lithium chemicals company valued at A$4 billion ($3.09 billion).
The deal comes at a time of increasing industry consolidation in the wake of soaring prices for the raw material used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
"The merged entity's growth opportunities in both brine and hard rock position it uniquely to take advantage of expected rising EV demand for lithium," Galaxy Chairman Martin Rowley said.
Orocobre and Galaxy, which operate the Olaroz and Sal de Vida lithium projects in Argentina respectively, are also eyeing a consolidation of their assets in the country.
"The merger consolidates the combined group's position in Argentina and will give us significant operational, technical and financial flexibility to deliver the full value of our combined portfolio", Orocobre Chief Executive Martín Pérez de Solay said.
Under the deal, Galaxy shareholders will receive 0.569 Orocobre shares for each Galaxy share held. After the merger, Orocobre shareholders will own 54.2% of the combined company, while Galaxy shareholders will own the remaining.
($1 = 1.2947 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)
((Shruti.Sonal@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @shrutisonal26;))
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