High-Profile Resources Banker Peter Bacchus Joins Lepidico Defence, Starts Boutique
The hostile takeover tussle for lithium technology company Lepidico, by Western Australia rival Lithium Australia, just got more interesting. Street Talk understands Lepidico, developer of the innovative LMax technology, has stepped up its defence of the all-scrip offer by luring heavyweight banker Peter Bacchus into its camp. Bacchus was Jefferies Group's global head of metals and mining and co-head of European investment banking until last year and also had stints at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. He is best known for defending mining giants, including Rio Tinto and WMC.
So, what brings Bacchus to Lepidico? He is said to be a strong believer in the LMax technology, which could revolutionise lithium supply to global battery manufacturers, crucial to the electric car industry and energy storage.
Bacchus is also on the board of Australia's largest lithium miner, Galaxy Resources, and will know a thing or two about industry players and the market dynamics for one of the world's lightest metals. Interestingly, he's just started his own London-based advisory firm, Bacchus Capital Advisers, joining the ranks of former bankers forging into the independent corporate finance and merger advice platform. Sources said Bacchus would be joined at his new firm by Paul Cahill, former group head of business development at Anglo American, Chris Johannsen, a founder of Australian advisory firm Gryphon Partners (subsequently acquired by Standard Chartered), and former Morgan Stanley banker, Richard Allan. They are all co-founders and partners in the boutique.
The lithium sector has been in focus in the past 12 months due to expectations of burgeoning demand. A recent report by the IW Cologne economic institute noted global demand for lithium was expected to soar in coming years as motorists and fleet managers switch to electric-powered vehicles, adding demand for the light metal, also used in mobile phones and the ceramic industry.