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Lithium miner Alita Resources' administrators confirm buyout talks, start liquidation

Kitco News

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Administrators of Alita Resources on Thursday started the liquidation process for the cash-strapped Australia-based lithium miner on confirming an implementation agreement with an unnamed third party for the sale of the company and its assets.

Advisory firm McGrathNicol began an application in the Supreme Court of Western Australia seeking orders for the company to be placed under liquidation as the deadline to meet obligatory settlements under the deed of company arrangements (DOCA) expired after Thursday. To execute the agreement, Alita's administrators are considering whether the continuation of the arrangement received by Austroid Corp, a U.S.-based lithium products firm that acquired issued shares in the company in late 2020, is in the best interest of Alita, according to a filing with the Singapore exchange issued on Thursday. The company will be placed under liquidation on Friday, with applications made for interim injunctions to hold back other relevant parties from dealing with the assets of Alita, which includes one of Australia's only in-production lithium mine – Bald Hill. Alita has been under administration since 2019, and in late 2020 in a second meeting with the creditors, the transfer of 100% shares in Alita to Austroid was approved on conversion of the latter's debt to equity.

In July this year, Treasurer Jim Chalmers issued a prohibition order stopping Austroid from acquiring an additional 90.10% stake in Alita, which would have given it the full control of the lithium miner. In view of a potential transaction under the share sale agreement, McGrathNicol has applied for an interim injunction against Austroid in order to restrain it from taking any action to remove or replace the administrators, the filing added.

Separately, the Australian on Wednesday reported that global mining giant Glencore had launched a secret deal to acquire all the debt in Alita, alongside a plan to relist the miner for A$1.8 billion ($1.17 billion). Alita was delisted from the Australian stock exchange in October 2020.

($1 = 1.5432 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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