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UPDATE 1-Private-equity backed Atlantic Nickel hires banks to explore options - sources

Tue, 11th May 2021 21:18

(Updates with details on valuation, adds source)

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - Atlantic Nickel, a Brazilian
miner backed by London private equity mining fund Appian Capital
Advisory has hired investment banks to explore sale options,
capitalising on the increasing demand for metals used in
electric batteries, four sources said.

Its sale process with Citi and Standard Chartered is the
most advanced, with potential buyers currently working on
first-round bids, according to the sources.

The company's meetings with Canadian banks RBC Capital
Markets and Bank of Montreal (BOM) focused on exploring a
listing, possibly in Toronto, while Goldman Sachs is working on
the option of going public by merging with a special-purpose
acquisition company (SPAC), according to the sources.

Paulo Castellari, CEO of Atlantic Nickel and Appian Capital
Brazil, declined to comment on the process, adding "that is the
nature of our business... It will be sold at some point. Our
focus here in Brazil is to make it work. Obviously it is a good
time (to divest)."

Citi, GS and Standard Chartered declined to comment. BMO and
RBC were not immediately available for comment.

Nickel's usage is growing in lithium-ion batteries and the
accelerated roll-out of electric vehicles is making certain
types of the metal popular among investors, as it can be
processed into battery precursor materials.

The more traditional use of nickel is in the processing of
stainless steel for kitchen appliances and utensils.

Analysts expect shortages of copper, cobalt, nickel and
other industrial materials needed for the shift to a low carbon
world, partly due to underinvestment in the mining sector and
accelerating demand.

Atlantic Nickel achieved capacity to produce 140,000 tonnes
of nickel concentrate in 2020. Its assets in Brazil's Bahia
state are worth more than $500 million, one source estimated.

One of the sources familiar with the process put the value
of Atlantic Nickel at over $1 billion.
(Reporting by Clara Denina in London and Marta Nogueira in Rio
de Janeiro; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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