What happened

Shares of Australian lithium mining company Piedmont Lithium (PLL), which currently trades on the Nasdaq in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADS), representing common shares on the Australian Stock Exchange, are coming to America -- and it seems investors aren't happy about it. Piedmont stock dropped 19% in Thursday trading.

So what

Thursday probably should have been a good day for Piedmont shareholders, seeing as B. Riley Securities raised its price target on the stock from $66 to $93 a share this morning. Citing improved lithium prices overall and "considerably" improved economics at the company's Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina, in particular, Riley upped its valuation on the stock, reports TheFly.com. However, the stock headed the other way.

Cartoon characters confused by stock chart arrow falling and crashing into floor

Image source: Getty Images.

Why? The most logical conclusion is that investors are reacting negatively to Piedmont's Form 6-K, filed with the SEC today, in which the company advises that its board of directors has voted unanimously in favor of redomiciling (i.e. moving the headquarters) to the United States. 

It's not entirely clear why this move is being seen as a negative for the stock, though. Piedmont notes that a U.S. listing will have "increased attractiveness" for U.S. investors and give the company "improved access to lower-cost U.S. debt and equity capital markets, increase demand for the stock, and lower the company's compliance costs." In the near term, however, management admits that there may be some spending necessary to implement the move.

Now what

A new company, Piedmont US, will be formed to hold the assets of Piedmont Lithium, and current holders of Piedmont Australian stock and Piedmont ADS will all exchange their current securities for new stock in Piedmont US. Piedmont will be delisted from both the Australian ASX and the Nasdaq and replaced by Piedmont US on both exchanges -- assuming shareholders vote to approve the transaction.

Piedmont shareholders will get their chance to vote on the move on April 5.