Wesfarmers’s $776 takeover bid for Kidman Resources (ASX: KDR) was the main talking point among small cap investors yesterday.

Shares in KDR closed the day 44.96 per cent higher at $1.87, just below the offer price of $1.90.

And when an ASX20 company lobs a bid with a healthy 47 per cent premium, it gets investors thinking about what other strategic acquisitions may be in play.

News of the bid certainly generated some buzz in the lithium sector, which got stuck in the doldrums in the second half of last year amid well-documented oversupply fears.

The Wesfarmers offer was still comfortably below Kidman’s 12-month high of $2.43 reached in May last year. The stock was last trading at $1.90 in June when Kidman signed an offtake agreement with Tesla before the market went south.

And while there were some other solid gains on the day among small cap lithium players, it wasn’t exactly a rising tide that lifted all boats in the sector.

Perhaps Wesfarmers instead spotted an opportunity to profit from the development of Kidman’s core asset — a 50 per cent interest in the Mt Holland lithium project, situated about 470km east of Perth.

In addition to KDR, here’s a summary of the moves among 20 other lithium small caps listed on the ASX:

Code Name Price ($) Market Cap Total Return
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES 1.85 $522,188,640.00 43.2%
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES 0.005 $7,904,346.50 25.0%
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES 0.03 $40,791,200.00 18.5%
AJM ALTURA MINING 0.13 $233,800,880.00 13.6%
JDR JADAR LITHIUM 0.01 $4,323,956.50 11.1%
BGS BIRIMIAN 0.15 $37,031,416.00 7.1%
NVA NOVA MINERALS 0.02 $10,837,878.00 7.1%
HNR HANNANS 0.02 $29,819,318.00 6.7%
LKE LAKE RESOURCES NL 0.05 $18,251,360.00 6.4%
LPD LEPIDICO 0.04 $120,822,304.00 5.6%
AVZ AVZ MINERALS 0.04 $91,327,936.00 5.0%
NMT NEOMETALS 0.23 $116,954,464.00 4.7%
LPI LITHIUM POWER INTERNATIONAL 0.25 $61,690,768.00 4.3%
DGR DGR GLOBAL 0.14 $79,713,648.00 3.8%
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM 0.10 $52,160,856.00 3.3%
A40 ALLIANCE MINERAL ASSETS 0.18 $221,900,560.00 2.9%
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS 0.07 $70,000,648.00 2.9%
INR IONEER 0.19 $272,871,936.00 2.7%
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED 0.09 $7,719,880.50 2.4%
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES 1.51 $601,097,920.00 2.0%
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES 0.06 $8,284,053.50 1.8%
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Four other stocks posted gains of at least 10 per cent, led by Dark Horse Resources (ASX: DHR) which rose 25 per cent to 0.5 cents.

But the move wasn’t out of blue for the Argentina-based lithium minnow, which jumped around below the one-cent mark in April with four intra-day gains of at least 15 per cent.

Among the more established lithium players, Altura Mining (ASX: AJM) led the way with a 14 per cent gain to 12.5 cents. The company is now producing commercial amounts of lithium from its project in WA’s Pilbara region, but remains well off its March 2018 high of 49 cents.