New York investment fund Lind Partners has signed off on a $6.3 million investment in ASX-listed Lithium Australia, as the company seeks to accelerate the company’s expansion into the battery storage market and establish itself as an end-to-end provider of lithium battery technologies.
The investment will be made in two parts with an initial investment of $2.9 million to fund the growth of three of the company’s subsidiaries, including battery business Soluna, battery recycling arm Envirostream, as well as the company’s cathode business VSPC.
Lithium Australia holds a range of exploration rights to prospective lithium supplies throughout Australia, a key ingredient in modern battery storage technologies, as well as strategic partnerships with battery manufacturers and battery recycling providers.
As part of the deal, Lind Partners can make an additional investment of up to $3.4 million over the next12 months, providing the investment firm with the option to purchase additional shares in Lithium Australia.
“During 2019, Lithium Australia has made a significant transition towards what is a more diversified, revenue producing business in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors – batteries and battery minerals,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.
“This Funding Agreement will improve the Company’s balance sheet, allowing us to grow our business in ways that are environmentally responsible and sustainable. The Lind Partners has been a long-time supporter of Lithium Australia and its directors, and we are pleased to continue our relationship with Jeff Easton and The Lind Partners.”
Lithium Australia has secured a number of partnerships to develop an integrated business model, aligning the company’s raw materials production with battery manufacturing, energy storage products and battery recycling services.
It was this integrated business model approach that attracted the investment from Lind Partners.
“We have seen Lithium Australia evolve from an explorer to a diversified battery and battery minerals company with three distinct complementary business units with excellent commercial potential. We are thrilled to invest in Lithium Australia and its management team to support the strategic plan of expanding operations into a diversified battery Company,” Lind Partners managing director Jeff Easton said.
In May, Lithium Australia signed a partnership agreement with major Chinese manufacturing firm DLG Battery Co. forming a joint venture to accelerate the production of lithium-ion batteries. The joint venture, Lithium Australia DLG, culminated in the introduction of Soluna branded batteries into the Australian market, with the first shipment of products reaching Australia earlier in December.
The partnerships have been part of a wider strategy from Lithium Australia, to establish itself as a “closed-loop” provider of lithium products, serving as a supplier raw materials production, working with partners in the processing of advanced components for battery production and through to the recycling of spent batteries.
The company holds a 90 per cent stake in battery recycler Envirostream, which in June secured a deal with major South Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem to recycle the company’s lithium-ion battery systems in Australia. Envirostream estimates that as much as 95 per cent of the components within a battery can be recovered and recycled.