October 10, 2018 / 9:46 PM / 2 months ago

Lithium producer Livent's IPO priced at $17/share - bookrunner

Oct 10 (Reuters) - The initial public offering of lithium producer Livent Corp was priced at $17 per share on Wednesday, lead bookrunner Bank of America Merrill Lynch said, below a target range and giving the company a market value of $2.43 billion.

The offering was to be priced between $18 and $20 per share, with the sale of 20 million shares raising $340 million.

The shares will start trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker 'LTHM'.

Livent holds the lithium business of pesticides maker FMC Corp and the IPO is seen as a test of whether a pure-play lithium operation can stand on its own.

The offering comes when global demand has spiked for the ultralight battery metal used in cell phones and electric vehicles.

About 500,000 electric vehicles were sold globally in 2016, a figure expected to jump sevenfold by 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates.

FMC saw a 46 percent jump in lithium sales in the second quarter and expects to produce roughly 21,000 tonnes of the metal this year. (reut.rs/2NwLlcz)

Livent reported net income of $47.1 million and revenue of $210.7 million for the six months ended June 30, according to its IPO filing.

FMC will own 86.01 percent of Livent's outstanding common stock after the offering.

A source earlier told Reuters the offer was oversubscribed.

Companies sometimes choose to dip below their target price range in an IPO to attract more institutional investors, even if books are oversubscribed within the price range.

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are the other lead bookrunners. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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