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Softbank buys stake in Nemaska Lithium

April 6, 2018  

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Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp will buy up to 9.9 per cent stake in Canada-based Nemaska Lithium Inc and invest up to $99.1 million through a private placement as part of the agreement, the lithium miner said on Thursday.

The investment, which SoftBank told Reuters was its first in the lithium industry, will be made through a private placement of share subscription receipts at $1.12 each.

The investment will be used to fund the construction and commissioning of Nemaska’s Whabouchi Mine in Quebec and its Shawinigan plant, Nemaska Lithium said in a statement.

SoftBank will have the right to nominate a member on Nemaska Lithium’s board and will also have the option to buy up to 20 per cent of the miner’s lithium output over the long term, the company told Reuters.

The investment comes at a time when lithium batteries are increasingly being installed in electric cars, including Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model X and General Motors Co’s modestly-priced Chevy Bolt.

“We are extremely pleased to be further accelerating the Mobile Revolution, an era of IoT (Internet of Things) and electric vehicles enabled by the fusion of technology and energy storage,” SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said in a separate statement to Reuters.

SoftBank has been investing aggressively in technology companies worldwide – mostly through its London-based Vision Fund – and has stakes in companies including U.S. ride hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc.