Chinese commodities trade Tianqi has successfully purchased a 24% stake in Chilean SQM despite previous opposition from the country’s government, the Financial Times reports granting China further clout in a key global supply chain.
Tianqi bought 2.65 million shares from Canadian firm Nutrien on Thursday for $4.07 billion – working out at $65 a share, or a 12% premium on the stocks Wednesday closing price.
Already an important player in the global lithium market, Tianqi owns lithium assets around China as well as a controlling stake in Australian Greenbushes mine.
Lithium is a key component of batteries used in products such as electric cars, a market which China has recently placed great emphasis on. The country boasts the world’s largest EV market as well as the largest electric car battery producer.