Dave Sherwood, Tatiana Bautzer, 17 April 2021
Brazilian private equity firm IG4 Capital has delivered a $916 million bid to buy into holding companies that have large stakes in Chilean lithium miner Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, known as SQM, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.
If SQM’s shareholder Julio Ponce agrees to the proposed deal, IG4 would become one of the largest shareholders of the world’s second largest lithium producer. The group intends to appoint up to four board members, according to the proposal described by the sources.
They would serve alongside three board members designated by China’s Tianqi Lithium Corp (002466.SZ), which owns about a quarter of SQM.
Shares in the holding companies jumped with the news on Friday. Sociedad de Inversiones Pampa Calichera (CALICHERAA.SN) rose 4.99%, Sociedad de Inversiones Oro Blanco (OROBLANCO.SN) spiked 7.88% and (NORTEGRAN.SN) 7.02% shortly after mid-day on the Santiago exchange.
The non-binding offer was delivered last Monday in Santiago to Ponce, through his financial adviser K2 Advisors, after almost a year of talks, according to the people, who requested anonymity to disclose private discussions. The bid is valid for 30 days.