REFILE-Top Inmet shareholder to tender shares to First Quantum

Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:48am EST

LONDON Jan 11 (Reuters) - Leucadia National Corporation, the largest shareholder in takeover target Inmet Mining , said late on Thursday it planned to tender its shares to bidder First Quantum, in a boost for the Canadian-listed group.

The statement from the New York-based holding company, which has a more than 15 percent stake in Inmet, came a day after First Quantum launched its C$5.1 billion hostile bid for its smaller rival, chasing one of the world's largest undeveloped copper deposits, Cobre Panama.

Nearly 40 percent of Inmet is held by only four shareholders, including Leucadia and a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings Pvt Ltd, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.

Leucadia said it would tender its shares "in the absence of changed circumstances or new information (including an alternative transaction that would provide greater value)".

A combination between the Anglo-Canadian group and Inmet would create one of the world's largest and fastest-growing copper-focused producers, while easing First Quantum's dependence on Africa and particularly Zambia.

The First Quantum offer will be open until Feb. 14, 2013, unless extended or withdrawn.