Philly's getting a new, high tech company; Livent falls 3.6 percent in market debut

Tom Paine

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Opening Bell, October 11, 2018 from CNBC.

Update 10/12: Reuters: "Lithium producer Livent Corp (LTHM.N) fell 3.6 percent in its market debut on Thursday after being priced at the lower end of its expected range, as investors worried about the recent declines in prices of lithium in China".

The general view seems to be  that the lithium market will continue to experience price weakness in the near term before tightening a  few years out.

"We think demand is going to grow almost five times larger in 2025 than it was in 2017,” Livent chief executive officer Paul Graves said in an interview Thursday in New York at the IPO event. .

Livent's welcome on Wall Street may have also been depressed by the market rout on Wednesday.


Livent, a lithium compound producer that's being spun off from FMC Corp., set terms for its IPO on Monday. It plans to raise $380 million by offering 20 million shares at a range of $18 to $20. Priced at the midpoint, Livent would have a market cap of $2.7 billion.

Livent will remain based in Philadelphia. It will trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "LTHM".

Livent is targeting production of lithium hydroxide, the type of lithium used in Tesla batteries. Buying into its offering is considered a big bet on the future of electric cars. Demand for lithium is expected to remain strong throughout the next decade, although there has been some recent price weakness.

A competitor and the world's largest lithium producer, Albemarle Corp (ALB.N), has been reported by Reuters as having an interest in acquiring Livent if its post-IPO stock performance isn't strong .

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