Azure Minerals share price hits record high as battle for control heats up

The lithium share is now trading comfortably above its takeover offer.

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Two people jump in the air in a fighting stance, indicating a battle between rival ASX shares

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The Azure Minerals Ltd (ASX: AZS) share price was a strong performer on Wednesday.

The lithium explorer's shares ended the day with a 4.5% gain to $3.65.

At one stage, Azure Minerals' shares hit a record high of $3.70 on significantly higher than average volume.

What's going on with the Azure Minerals share price?

Given that the company recently accepted a $3.52 per share takeover approach from Sociedad Quimica y Minr de Chile SA (NYSE: SQM), investors may be wondering why its shares were trading at a 5% premium to this day.

While nothing has been confirmed at this stage, the speculation is that Mineral Resources Ltd (ASX: MIN) could have followed Gina Rinehart's lead by building a sizeable stake in the company.

If this proves to be the case, it would mean that Chris Ellison's Mineral Resources business has been putting significant capital to work this week. As we covered here earlier, Mineral Resources has just become a major shareholder in fellow lithium explorer Wildcat Resources Ltd (ASX: WC8).

The combination of Rinehart and Ellison as major shareholders could make it very tricky for SQM to get a deal over the line with either of its proposed options. This includes its backup off-market takeover offer that requires 50% acceptance.

What are they fighting over?

Azure Minerals owns a 60% stake in the Andover Lithium Project in Western Australia.

Drilling results to date have been very promising. So much so, management believes the "numerous broad, high-grade drill intersections firmly entrench the Andover Lithium Project amongst the best lithium exploration projects globally."

It seems that a battle for control of this project could be on. But who ultimately wins, only time will tell.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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