November 6, 2018 / 4:26 PM / 7 months ago

Lithium-producer Livent says FMC sale to bring certainty for staff, investors

The company logo for lithium producer Livent Corp is displayed on a screen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company's IPO in New York, U.S., October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Lithium producer Livent Corp says majority owner FMC Corp’s decision to sell its entire stake by next spring will help it better compete in the fast-moving sector, Chief Executive Paul Graves said on Tuesday.

FMC spun Livent off last month in an initial public offering, keeping about 86 percent of Livent’s shares. It said on Monday it plans to report lithium division results as part of its own results through the fourth quarter and will sell the entire stake by next March.

“We’re very pleased that [FMC] made a definite statement on what they’re going to do,” CEO Paul Graves said in an interview. “It brings more certainty to our employees and to our investors.”

Philadelphia-based Livent on Monday cut its 2018 sales forecast and posted a quarterly profit that failed to exceed Wall Street’s expectations, sending its shares down nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading. Shares rose 3.3 percent to $17.49 on Tuesday morning.

The stock has see-sawed since last month’s IPO, and Graves said he expects that to continue until the sale.

“It’s highly likely we’ll continue to have a share price that bounces around,” Graves said. “By the end of 2019, we should have the right shareholder base for Livent.”

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Susan Thomas

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