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LPI jumps 30%

Well, Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI) was right when it described as “incorrect” a Bloomberg report suggesting a 50-cent-a-share offer from Codelco, the big state-owned Chilean copper miner.

The deal, revealed on Wednesday (instead of the original Monday deadline), was at 57 cents for each LPI share.

LPI said it had entered into a binding scheme implementation deed for Codelco to buy 100% at a total value of $385 million.

That news saw the shares jump 30%. The 57 cents-a-share offer is still under the 64 cents-a-share high reached late in 2022 but above the 2023 high of 51 cents in January.

The company’s board unanimously recommends that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme. This is in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to the independent expert’s report.

Its largest shareholder, Minera Salar Blanco, intends to vote its 28.25% shareholding in favour of the scheme, subject to the same qualifications, as do all members of the company’s board.

Lithium Power International CEO Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro said in Wednesday’s announcement that:

“The transaction provides certainty for LPI shareholders when compared to a stand-alone development scenario of the company’s Maricunga Lithium Project and in the context of an uncertain economic outlook more broadly.

“We believe this transaction is a great outcome for LPI shareholders and for other stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, and the people of Chile, all of whom will benefit from the Maricunga Lithium Project being developed by a large, well-financed, and experienced mine developer and producer as Codelco.

“The board believes this transaction reflects the hard work and achievements of the LPI team and the significant progress made in advancing the Maricunga Lithium Project to its current predevelopment stage.”

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