SMS Finance

Liontown financing delayed

The new financing package for Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) and its Kathleen Valley lithium mine in WA won’t be known until Friday morning. The company requested its shares to be suspended on Wednesday.

The suspension request came after Liontown had asked for a trading halt until Wednesday last week to sort out the financing package.

The new funding deal became necessary when US lithium giant Albemarle decided to withdraw its $3 a share non-binding offer for Liontown. This decision came after iGina Rinehart’s Hancock Resources acquired a 19.9% stake and expressed its interest in Liontown’s future.

Albemarle cited the increasing complexity of the situation and walked away, leaving Liontown in need of a new financial support package to complete the Kathleen Valley project. The project’s costs have surged to nearly $1 billion from an initial estimate that was a fifth of that amount when the project was first proposed four years ago.

Albemarle’s bid had eliminated the need for additional funds until Hancock Prospecting, led by Ms. Rinehart, intervened and acquired enough shares to effectively block the deal.

In a letter to the ASX, Liontown explained that the suspension was requested because “Liontown expects to make an announcement to ASX regarding its funding arrangements for the development of the Kathleen Valley Project.” The suspension is expected to remain in place until the earlier of Liontown’s funding announcement or the commencement of trading on Friday, October 20, 2023.

The suspension request indicates that there will be an equity component in the funding deal.

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