Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting has inched closer to acquiring a 19.9% stake in Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR)
, pending a potential bid from US lithium giant Albemarle at $3 per share.
Last night, Hancock Prospecting disclosed an increase in its Liontown stake to 18.36%, just two trading days after it reported a boost to 16.69%. The company invested an additional $110 million in Liontown shares, bringing its total expenditure to over $1.2 billion. All shares were purchased at $3 each.
While Ms. Rinehart has the option to increase her stake to 19.9%, it appears unnecessary as she has already supplanted Liontown chairman Tim Goyder as the largest shareholder.
Liontown's Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia is esteemed for being one of the world's most promising metal deposits. However, it has encountered increased costs and delays, necessitating a reevaluation of its budget.
Now, the onus lies with Albemarle to determine whether their due diligence, which should be nearing completion based on their earlier four-week estimate, will persuade them to transform their non-binding $3 cash per share offer into an official bid.