First Quantum edges towards Inmet deal as offer extended

CANADIAN mining giant First Quantum yesterday extended its hostile offer for Inmet, after a majority of shareholders tendered shares in favour of the offer.

The C$5.1bn (£3.3bn) cash and shares offer ­– or C$72 a share – will now be extended until 21 March, as around 61.5 per cent of Inmet shares have been tendered.

The Canadian miner wants to gain control of the $6.2bn (£4.2bn) Cobre Panama copper deposit, one of the world’s largest undeveloped deposits not owned by a mining major. In January, it took its bid hostile as Inmet has so far been resistant to First Quantum’s advances, arguing that the bid was inadequate.

First Quantum said its offer had been changed to allow it to proceed if more than 50 per cent of Inmet shares are deposited before the offer’s new expiration date. It was previously contingent on two-thirds being tendered.

It is the strongest sign yet that Inmet shareholders support First Quantum’s offer.

Philip Pascall, chief executive and chairman of First Quantum yesterday said this was its “best and now final offer”.