ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business Deals

China's Tianqi can buy stake in lithium firm SQM, rules Chile court

A view of brine pools of a lithium mine on the Atacama Salt Flat in Chile.   © Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) -- Chile's antitrust court approved on Thursday a deal struck between Chilean regulators and Tianqi, allowing the Chinese miner to purchase a nearly one-quarter stake in lithium producer SQM .

Chilean antitrust watchdog FNE and Tianqi had presented the agreement, intended to limit the exchange of commercially sensitive information between the two companies, to Chile's antitrust court in September.

It was approved by the five-member court without conditions.

"The approval of this extrajudicial agreement does not prevent third parties with a legitimate interest, who think that the facts in this agreement ... affect free competition, from taking whatever action they feel is most appropriate," the court said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

The agreement stipulates that Tianqi cannot name any of its executives or employees to SQM's board, and requires that the Chinese miner notify regulators of any future, lithium-related deal struck with either SQM or rival Albemarle.

In a statement, Tianqi said the deal ensured competition in the lithium market would be maintained.

"With this resolution, and considering the timeline, we anticipate the transaction will be completed in the last quarter of 2018," Tianqi said.

SQM, which had objected to the deal on the grounds it did not go far enough to limit Tianqi's access to corporate secrets and sensitive information, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Chile's antitrust regulator launched an investigation in June, shortly after Tianqi said it would buy 24 percent of SQM for $4.1 billion, giving it a coveted stake in one of the world's top producers of lithium, a key component in the batteries that power everything from cellphones to electric vehicles.

Beijing is aggressively promoting electric vehicles to combat air pollution and help China's domestic carmakers leapfrog the combustion engine to build global brands.
 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media