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Albemarle to Acquire Lithium Salts Production Assets

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Albemarle Corporation ALB said that it has inked a deal to buy the lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate conversion assets and supporting business functions currently operated by Jiangxi Jiangli New Materials Science and Technology Co. Ltd.

The transaction, which is subject regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

The deal includes manufacturing assets located in both Jiangxi and Sichuan, in China, where these assets are aimed at the production of battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.  Jiangli New Materials currently tolls lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate for Albemarle, using spodumene from Albemarle's Talison joint venture in Australia.

Collectively, the Jiangli New Material assets have an aggregate lithium salts capacity of 15,000 MT/year, with the ability to increase capacity as required to support Albemarle's growth strategy.    

The deal will enable Albermarle to strengthen its position in the lithium industry, and enhance its ability to meet its strategic goal of capturing half of the growth in the lithium industry. This transaction will enable the company to supply premium lithium salts to an increased global customer base. On the other hand, with the deal, Jiangli can create additional value for the lithium industry in Asia Pacific and abroad.

Albemarle is a global specialty chemicals company with its holding leading positions in lithium, bromine, refining catalysts and applied surface treatments.

Albemarle currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Better-ranked companies in the chemical space include Innospec Inc. IOSP, The Chemours Company CC and Innophos Holdings Inc . All of them hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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