* First Quantum sends C$72-per-share offer to shareholders
* Company says deal to create "new global leader in copper"
* Shares of Inmet up 0.21 percent at C$72.40 on TSX
* Shares of First Quantum fall 3.2 percent to C$20.85
TORONTO, Jan 9 First Quantum Minerals Ltd
on Wednesday 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 copper
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 were trading just above the offer price at
C$72.4 0 on Wednesday at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange,
while First Quantum's stock was down 3. 2 p ercent at C$20. 8 5 .
T he latest offer, first outlined in mid-December, follows an
initial bid of C $62.50 put forward in October. The next month,
First Quatum r aised it s bid to C$70. [ ID:nL1E8NH0RO]
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
Inmet said it was reviewing the terms of the off er while
investigating " all potential strategic alternatives that may
enhance shareholder value."
The Toronto-based miner promised to make a formal
recommendation to shareholders within 15 days and urged them to
take no action until that time.
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unless extended or withdrawn, and is contingent on a minimum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, w hile
Inmet is being advised by CI BC World Markets.