First Quantum bid for Inmet wins Investment Canada approval

TORONTO, March 8 Fri Mar 8, 2013 2:06pm EST

TORONTO, March 8 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals said on Friday its C$5.1 billion ($4.97 billion) hostile takeover bid for rival Canadian base metal miner Inmet Mining Corp has won approval under the Investment Canada Act.

The act, which requires a buyer to prove to the government that its takeover of a Canadian company will be of net benefit to Canada, typically only applies to large foreign acquisitions of companies or assets. Vancouver, British Columbia-based First Quantum had to win approval under the law, however, as the majority of its directors are based overseas.

The cash-and-stock bid is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, March 11. The bid was worth about C$5.1 billion, or C$72 a share, when it was announced in mid-December, topping First Quantum's two previous offers for Inmet.

On Friday, Inmet once again called on shareholders to reject the First Quantum offer, saying it was inadequate.

"While the long-term fundamental value of Inmet has not changed, the value of the First Quantum offer has declined to C$67.70 (a share) as of yesterday's closing price," said Inmet in an open letter to investors.

"The special committee and the board would be prepared to meet with First Quantum to discuss a supported transaction if First Quantum is prepared to make a fair offer to Inmet," the company said.