Stardust Power has agreed to merge with Global Partner Acquisition Corp. II (GPAC II), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal that values the combined entity at $490m.

Based in the US, Stardust Power is a development stage manufacturer of battery-grade lithium products.

The firm is developing a central battery-grade lithium refining facility in Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma. The facility has been designed to produce 50,000 metric tonnes of lithium per annum.

Besides, the proposed Oklahoma refinery will support the expansion of domestic manufacturing and help the US in securing energy independence by reducing the dependance on foreign sources of materials in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.

The company aims to begin the construction of the facility in 2024, with production to commence in late-2025.

Stardust Power CEO Roshan Pujari said: “Stardust Power aims to solve one of the largest challenges of the energy transition – reliable access to the critical minerals that will make the transition a reality.

“Refined lithium is the key component in the lithium-ion batteries which make the proliferation of EVs, and decarbonisation of transportation, possible. Domestic production of battery-grade lithium is also a crucial factor to American national security and leadership in the energy transition, which Stardust Power is working to address.”

The existing owners and management of Stardust Power will roll 100% of their interests in the company into the combined entity.

Following the closing of the deal with the SPAC, the lithium products manufacturer will become a public company and will be listed on Nasdaq.

GPAC II chairman and CEO Chandra Patel said: “We believe our track record as a constructive and value-added group makes us compelling partners to enable the Stardust team to execute successfully its public listing and scale to become an industry leader.

“We support Stardust Power’s mission of providing increased U.S. energy independence and to reduce reliance on foreign sources of lithium.”

The deal is anticipated to close during the first half of 2024.

Cohen & Company Capital Markets served as an exclusive financial advisor and lead capital markets advisor to Stardust Power for the deal.

Norton Rose Fulbright and Kirkland & Ellis were legal counsel to Stardust Power and GPAC II, respectively.