Molycorp forays into Europe with $89 mln AS Silmet buy
HT: earth2techCo to pay $89 mln for 90 pct stake
* Deal to double co's rare-earth oxide production capacity
* Shares jump 5 percent in pre-market trade (Adds details on AS Silmet's ops, background and share movement)
April 4 (Reuters) - Molycorp , the largest U.S. producer of rare-earth metals, bought a controlling stake in Estonia-based AS Silmet for about $89 million, in a move that will mark its foray into Europe and double its rare-earth oxide production capacity.
Western rare earth suppliers have been scrambling to boost production to plug a supply gap created last year when No. 1 producer China sharply cut its exports of the metals, used in products ranging from laptop computers to hybrid-electric cars.
After the deal, AS Silmet will source rare-earth feed from Molycorp's facility in California, becoming the first rare earth oxide and metal producer in Europe not dependent on China for raw materials.
AS Silmet is one of the two rare earth processing facilities in Europe, producing up to 3,000 tonnes rare earth products and 700 tonnes of rare metal products annually....MORE
Here's the view from Estonia:
US Firm Buys Controlling Stake in Silmet
As the company was very tightly held we didn't post anything on it, here are a couple bookmarks from the link-vault:
Here's the company's history.
Here's some backround via the Estonian Trade and Investment Agency.
And a November, 2010 story from CNN via Baltic Business News