* First Quantum says some regulatory hurdles remain
* Inmet reiterates view, urges shareholders to reject bid
* First Quantum shares up 1.7 percent; Inmet edges lower
By Euan Rocha and Julie Gordon
TORONTO, Feb 26 First Quantum Minerals Ltd
may extend its hostile C$5.1 billion ($4.97 billion) bid
for rival base metal miner Inmet Mining Corp by a few
days, President Clive Newall said on Tuesday.
"There are a number of regulatory hurdles to go over, and we
hope they'll all be done by tomorrow, but we may need to extend
slightly," Newall said while addressing investors at the BMO
Metals & Mining conference in Hollywood, Florida.
The cash-and-stock bid is set to expire on Wednesday at 5
p.m. EST (2200 GMT). It was worth C$5.1 billion, or C$72 a
share, when it was announced in mid-December, topping First
Quantum's two prior offers.
Last month, Inmet asked its shareholders to reject First
Quantum's bid, calling it inadequate. The company said it was in
talks with third parties for alternative deals.
Inmet said on Tuesday that the implied value of the bid had
fallen to C$66.35 per share as of Monday's close.
The bid, however, already has the support of Inmet's largest
shareholder, Leucadia National Corp, which according to
the latest Thomson Reuters data has a stake of roughly 16
"This vision of creating the new global company is certainly
shared by their largest shareholder," Newall said. "And what
we're seeking here, and have been for the last few weeks, is to
try and persuade all Inmet shareholders to share this vision."
If First Quantum succeeds with its bid, the company would
gain control of the Cobre Panama project. The massive project in
the Central American Republic of Panama has one of the world's
largest undeveloped copper deposits, which would ease the
company's dependence on sites in Africa and particularly Zambia.
In response to a question, Newall said First Quantum had
engaged with the Inmet board throughout the process, but he
declined to provide any details on where things stand.
INMET REITERATES REJECTION
Following the First Quantum presentation, Inmet issued a
statement urging shareholders to reject the offer, suggesting
that the two sides were no closer to an agreement.
Inmet said it had granted First Quantum a site tour at Cobre
Panama and access to some of its key personnel as part of a due
"Despite its communication to Inmet shareholders stressing
the link between due diligence and its ability to increase the
offer, First Quantum has not increased its offer to date,"
Inmet said in its statement.
Inmet said it was continuing its efforts to sell a minority
stake in Cobre Panama, a transaction that would value the
project at much more than the First Quantum offer does. The
company said such a move would also help mitigate the capital
risk of Cobre Panama, which is expected to cost roughly $6.2
Inmet shares were down 0.1 percent at C$65.44 in afternoon
trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while First Quantum rose
1.7 percent to C$18.73.