(Bloomberg) -- Stardust Power Inc., a lithium refiner developing a facility in Oklahoma, has agreed to go public through a merger with Global Partner Acquisition Corp. II.
The proposed transaction has a pro forma enterprise valuation of $490 million, according to a statement confirming a Bloomberg News report. Led by Chief Executive Officer Roshan Pujari, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Stardust Power aims to become a major producer of battery grade lithium products in the US.
Stardust Power plans to use the proceeds from the deal to build a lithium refining facility in Oklahoma that may produce as much as 50,000 metric tons of American battery-grade lithium per year, the statement showed. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024, and the shares are set to trade on Nasdaq under the ticker SDST.
The blank check firm is led by CEO Chandra Patel, the founder of Antarctica Capital LLC, whose company took ownership of the SPAC in January.
“Operating as a public company is an important step in our growth,” Pujari said in an interview with Bloomberg News. With the IPO market “relatively frozen,” a SPAC deal made sense and the GPAC deal was attractive given “Chandra and his team have a great track record of adding value,” he added.
“While this company is at the development stage, the lithium supply market is not at a development stage,” Patel told Bloomberg News. “It’s the right investment thesis for the right market at the right time from our perspective.”
Stardust Power’s owners and management will roll their interest in the company into the combined firm, according to the statement. The existing management team is set to remain in place.
The SPAC raised $300 million in a 2021 initial public offering, however, less than $50 million remains in its trust after the majority of investors redeemed their shares for cash, data from SPAC Research show.
Read More: Some SPACs Get Their Day Again After Takeovers
The SPAC reversed a plan to liquidate and has continued to fund a deal hunt. The vehicle currently has until mid-January to complete a merger, meaning it may need to get investor approval to extend the deadline to close the Stardust Power pact.
Global Partner Acquisition II is the third SPAC to be led by Patel. Constellation Acquisition Corp. I, which he is CEO and Chairman of, has until January to complete a deal, while a blank-check firm that he was Chairman of the Board for brought SatixFy Communications Ltd. public in October 2022.
(Updates throughout with confirmation.)
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