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Chile: TDLC greenlights major Tianqi-SQM sale

 |  October 8, 2018

Following a controversial process, Chile’s Tribunal for the Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) approved the sale of 24% of shares in the SQM mining company to its Chinese counterpart Tianqi, in what would be the largest business operation of the year for the South American country.

The TDLC approved the out-of-court settlement that Tianqi had reached with the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) to approve the purchase of 24% of the company, previously in the hands of Canadian mining company Nutrien. The agreement was valued at more than US$4 billion.

The court determined that the measures established to protect free competition in the global lithium market are sufficient. The operation had been revised due to the possibility of “generating anti-competitive effects” in the Chilean market. The purchase will allow Tianqi to control almost 26% of SQM, raising initial concerns over risks related to possible coordination effects among economic agents.

Among the commitments that Tianqi assumes to appease the FNE, notable steps include Tianqi’s directors or employees being barred from taking part in the SQM board of directors, nor will its directors be able to influence the interests of the second, neither may they form or participate in committees, in the administration, or other instances of decision-making related to the lithium market involving SQM.

Full Content: La Tercera

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