Wesfarmers drops plan to acquire Australian rare earths miner Lynas

23 August 2019 (Last Updated August 23rd, 2019 11:30)

Wesfarmers has officially ended its non-binding indicative proposal to buy rare earths miner Lynas for $2.25 a share in cash.

Wesfarmers drops plan to acquire Australian rare earths miner Lynas
Rare earths are a group of 17 metals. Credit: Peggy Greb, US department of agriculture.

Wesfarmers has officially ended its non-binding indicative proposal to buy rare earths miner Lynas for $2.25 a share in cash.

In March, Wesfarmers made a conditional, non-binding indicative proposal to acquire Lynas, pursuant to a scheme of arrangement.

The latest announcement comes after Lynas received a renewed Lynas Malaysia operating licence.

Noting Lynas’ receipt of the operating licence, Wesfarmers said that it does not intend to proceed further on the proposal as it cannot withstand the development.

Wesfarmers’ proposal was subject to negotiation and execution of an implementation agreement, for approval by boards of the two companies.

It was also subject to the approval of necessary regulatory and Lynas shareholders, as well as other customary conditions.

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said: “Wesfarmers remains focused on delivering value to its shareholders through disciplined capital allocation within our divisions and when considering new investments.”

In May, Wesfarmers announced plans to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares in Kidman Resources for around $776m.

Last August, the company signed an agreement to sell its 40% stake in the Bengalla coal mine joint venture to partner New Hope for A$860m ($637.83m).

This June, Lynas said that it will be allowed to continue operating a rare earths processing plant. Malaysia had earlier stopped the licence renewal process of Lynas for the $800m plant due to waste disposal concerns.

Lynas is one of the biggest rare earths producers. Rare earths are a group of 17 metals used in products such as computers, televisions, batteries and smartphones.