Albemarle Corp. said it will not pursue a binding agreement to purchase Liontown Resources Ltd. and has formally withdrawn its non-binding offer to Liontown’s board.
The decision comes as Albemarle nears the end of its exclusive due diligence process. “Our engagement with the Liontown team has been meaningful and productive. We appreciate the level of cooperation we have received, and we thank the entire team for their efforts,” said Kent Masters, CEO of Albemarle. “That said, moving forward with the acquisition, at this time, is not in Albemarle’s best interests.” The company noted growing complexities associated with the proposed transaction as a factor in its decision.
Albemarle is one of Australia’s biggest lithium investors, with mining assets at Wodgina and Greenbushes, and with the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant, which is currently undergoing a significant expansion.
Liontown said it remains committed to delivering its flagship Kathleen Valley lithium project into production. “They were constructive and respectful throughout the diligence process,” Liontown Managing Director and CEO Tony Ottaviano said. “Notwithstanding, our position to maintain momentum on our base plan has allowed us to keep line of sight of first production from the Kathleen Valley project in mid-2024.”
Albemarle reached its decision just after Liontown announced that Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd had increased its holdings in Liontown to 19.9%.