Fiat owner Stellantis to invest $52 million in Vulcan Energy for 8% stake

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- Vulcan Energy Resources said on Friday Dutch automaker Stellantis NV would buy an 8% stake for A$76 million ($52.49 million), sending the lithium miner's shares more than 24% higher.

Australia-headquartered Vulcan will issue about 8.5 million shares to Stellantis at A$6.622 per share, which represents a 32.4% premium to the stock's Thursday closing price.

Stellantis, which owns brands like Fiat, Chrysler and Maserati, will be Vulcan's second-largest shareholder with the investment.

Vulcan said it would use the proceeds for drilling expansion at its lithium-extraction project in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany.

Shares of the company jumped as much as 24.2% and were set to post their biggest one-day gain since January 2021.

The company, which is listed both in Sydney and Frankfurt, also said it had extended its lithium hydroxide supply agreement with Stellantis by another five years until 2035.

In November last year, Vulcan had signed a deal to supply between 81,000 and 99,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Stellantis for five years from 2026.

The company currently has lithium supply deals with French automaker Renault SA, Belgian recycling group Umicore NV and South Korea's LG Chem Ltd.

($1 = 1.4478 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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