March 12, 2013 / 1:30 PM / in 5 years

First Quantum says extends Inmet offer after strong support

TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd said it will extend its C$5.1 billion ($4.97 billion) hostile bid for its smaller rival Inmet Mining Corp by a few days after a majority of Inmet shareholders tendered shares in favor of the offer.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based First Quantum said in a statement on Tuesday that a total of 43.2 million Inmet shares, representing about 61.5 percent of outstanding shares, had been tendered in favor of its offer. The offer has now been extended to 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 21.

First Quantum also said the offer has been varied to allow the minimum tender condition to be satisfied if more than 50 percent of Inmet’s outstanding shares have been deposited prior to the new expiry time of the offer. The offer was previously contingent on more than two-thirds of the shares being tendered in favor of the deal.

The cash-and-stock bid, which was earlier set to expire at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, was worth roughly 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.

Inmet is a global mining company that produces base metals with a focus on copper. First Quantum is engaged in the production of copper, gold and nickel.

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