* First Quantum sends $72-per-share offer to shareholders
* Company says deal to create "new global leader in copper"
* Shares of Inmet up 0.79 percent at C$72.82 on TSX
* Shares of First Quantum fall 1.3 percent to C$21.26
TORONTO, Jan 9 First Quantum Minerals Ltd
on Wednesday officially launched a hostile takeover bid
for smaller rival Inmet Mining Corp, as the Canadian
base metal miner looks to transform itself into a top global
First Quantum mailed its C$72-a-share offer to Inmet's
shareholders, starting the clock on the takeover that values the
smaller company at some C$5.1 billion ($5.17 billion).
Inmet's shares climbed 0.79 percent to C$72.82 on Wednesday
on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while First Quantum's stock was
down 1.3 percent at C$21.26.
If successful, the deal would give First Quantum control of
the Cobre Panama copper project in Central America, which is one
of the world's largest undeveloped copper deposits.
A combination with Inmet would also create one of the
world's largest and fastest-growing copper-focused producers,
while easing First Quantum's dependence on Africa and
The First Quantum offer will be open until Feb. 14, 2013,
unless extended or withdrawn, and is contingent on a minimum
take up of 66-2/3 percent of outstanding shares, along with
Nearly 40 percent of Inmet is held by only four
shareholders, including holding company Leucadia National Corp
and a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings Pvt Ltd,
the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.
First Quantum is being advised on the deal by Jefferies
International, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets.