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What’s behind BP’s $2bn deal to take NewMed Energy private?

In today’s top stories, BP and Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC have teamed up to take Israel’s NewMed Energy private for some $2bn. Elsewhere, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sued crypto exchange Binance, whose purchase of Voyager Digital was blocked on Monday. The US and Japan have struck a trade deal on critical minerals for EV batteries, while First Solar will be a recipient of India’s subsidy package to boost domestic manufacturing of solar modules. Lastly, shares in lithium miner Liontown jumped 68.5% after it rejected a $3.7bn takeover bid, saying it didn’t reflect an expected fivefold increase in lithium demand.

BP’s $2bn to take NewMed Energy private

Oil major BP [BP.L] has made a joint bid with ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company, to take Israel’s NewMed Energy [NWMD.TA] private for approximately $2bn. “This is a sign of confidence in the East [Mediterranean] becoming a major supplier of gas to Europe,” NewMed CEO Yossi Abu told Reuters. BP recently reneged on a pledge to reduce oil and gas production by 40% by 2030. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway [BRK-B] has upped its Occidental Petroleum [OXY] stake to 23.6%.

Binance sued by commodity markets regulator

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sued crypto exchange Binance for violating compliance rules in order to attract US users. “[T]he complaint appears to contain an incomplete recitation of facts,” said the company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao in a response. Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine believes it’s likely a move by regulators to stop large trading firms from accessing crypto derivative markets. A judged ruled to halt the sale of Voyager Digital [VYGVQ] to Binance US on Monday.

US-Japan critical minerals deal

The US and Japan have struck a trade deal on critical minerals for electric vehicle (EV) batteries that will be “vital to the growth of the clean energy economy”, according to a Washington spokesperson quoted by the Financial Times. The agreement signed Tuesday means no duties will be imposed on exports of lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel or graphite. In the EU, member states have agreed to install EV charging stations every 60km on key roads by 2026.

India’s solar subsidies

First Solar [FSLR] has confirmed it is among the recipients of India’s 195bn rupee (₹) subsidy package to boost domestic manufacturing of solar modules. The company’s 3.4GW plant in Tamil Nadu has been awarded ₹11.8bn, Sujoy Ghosh, the company’s India managing director, told Bloomberg. The subsidy package is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to make the country a manufacturing powerhouse that could rival China for foreign investment.

Liontown leaps 69% after takeover snub

Shares in lithium miner Liontown [LTR.AX] jumped 68.5% Tuesday after it rejected a $3.7bn takeover bid from Albemarle [ALB]. Liontown said the valuation didn’t reflect an expected fivefold increase in lithium demand which, coupled with a supply deficit, will lead to higher lithium prices for longer “There’s a lot of dry powder for lithium M&A but many players have been waiting for toppy pricing to come off,” Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic told Bloomberg.

 

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