CORRECTED-Talison Lithium backs sweetened bid from Chinese firm

Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:15pm EST
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(In Dec. 6 story, corrects name of company to "Rockwood" instead of "Rockwell" in paras 3 and 4)

Dec 6 (Reuters) - Talison Lithium Ltd said on Thursday it is now backing a sweetened takeover bid from China's Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group Co, which values the lithium producer at C$847 million ($853.01 million).

Shares of the Perth-based, Toronto-listed miner rose more than 6 percent Thursday morning but were still below the revised Tianqi offer of C$7.50 per share.

The revised bid is higher than Tianqi's earlier offer of C$7.15 per share and 15 percent higher than a competing C$6.50 per share bid from chemical producer Rockwood Holdings Inc , which valued Talison at C$724 million.

The Talison board said it now recommends that shareholders accept the Tianqi offer, in the absence of a new bid from Rockwood.

Talison recently completed an expansion at its flagship project in Australia and now has the capacity to produce nearly two-thirds of current global demand for lithium carbonate, which is used in batteries for technology items like smartphones and hybrid cars.

Shares of Talison were up 6.84 percent at C$7.34 Thursday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1 = 0.9930 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by John Wallace)