Clayton Utz supported our key client Tianqi Lithium Corporation (Tianqi) on the completion last week of one of the largest energy and resources deals in Australia year to date – a new globally focused lithium joint venture between China-based Tianqi and ASX-listed nickel and copper miner IGO Limited (IGO), with IGO’s investment valued at approximately A$1.9 billion.
A multi-disciplinary, cross-office Clayton Utz team led by Perth-based Corporate partners Brett Cohen and Liz Humphry advised Tianqi on its entry into the Lithium Holdco JV, which was announced to the market in December 2020. Other members of the Corporate team included special counsels Armin Fazely and Scott Girdler, and lawyers Georgia Denny, Sam Pullin, Dan English and Luke Crofts. Key support on the finance aspects of the transaction was provided by partner Rohan Mishra, special counsel Kate Casellas and lawyer Isabella Bogunovich, while partner Peter Feros and special counsel Cameron Forbes provided key transactional tax support.
Under the terms of the deal, IGO has subscribed for a 49 per cent non-controlling interest in Tianqi’s Australian operations, which comprise the Greenbushes lithium concentrate mining operations and the Kwinana Lithium Hydroxide Plant, both located in Western Australia.
Lithium HoldCo will be the exclusive vehicle for the JV’s future lithium related investments outside of China.
Commenting on the firm’s role, Brett Cohen said:
We’re pleased to have assisted our long-term client Tianqi to successfully complete the JV that will be well-positioned to capitalise on the recent rebound in the lithium sector. It was a complex matter and the Clayton Utz team enjoyed the challenge of collaborating to bring together our experience across various practice and industry groups to meet the transaction objectives and timeframe.