Ashurst advises LPI on 100% ownership consolidation of Maricunga Lithium Brine Project

Global law firm Ashurst has advised Lithium Power International (LPI) on entering into definitive binding agreements to consolidate 100% ownership of the Maricunga Lithium Brine project in Chile (Maricunga or the Project).

The Company currently owns a 51.55% interest in Maricunga, with JV Partners MSB SpA holding 31.31% and TSX-V listed Bearing Lithium, Inc holding 17.14%. The consolidation of ownership will be undertaken via two separate transactions:

  • MSB SpA will contribute its 31.31% interest in Maricunga to a newly incorporated Delaware company, Salar Blanco, LLC (SBD) (which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of MSB SpA). LPI will consolidate ownership of SBD’s interest in the Project via a Delaware merger with SBD and a concurrent Australian scheme of arrangement – LPI shareholders will also approve the transaction as the owner of SBD will ultimately hold more than 20% of LPI’s issued share capital; and
  • The Transaction with Bearing for its 17.14% interest will be completed by way of a Canadian Plan of Arrangement.

The Transaction represents a fantastic next step for LPI. By consolidating the ownership of the Project, LPI has created a strong and financeable platform to progress the Project and return value to shareholders.

The updated DFS released on 20 January 2022 demonstrates that Maricunga could be one of the lowest cost producers of lithium carbonate in the world, with the Project’s strong economics underpinning a highly attractive asset.

Partner Murray Wheater commented: “The three-way cross-border deal and novel legal structure is demonstrative of Ashurst’s ability to lead a collaborative team for complex cross-jurisdictional matters. We look forward to continuing to assist LPI to implement the transaction and to accelerate the development of the highly attractive Maricunga Lithium Brine Project.”

The Ashurst team was led by partner Murray Wheater, with assistance from partner Greg Golding, counsel Ben Stewart, senior associates Josh Walsh and Tom McCann, associate Jack Jones and graduate Jacqui Turner.

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