First Quantum sweetens bid for Inmet with £3.2bn offer

CANADA-based First Quantum Minerals yesterday upped its offer for rival mining firm Inmet in a deal worth C$5.1bn (£3.2bn).

First Quantum, which has assets in Africa, Australia, South America and Europe, is offering C$72 in a mixture of cash and shares for each Inmet share, which it says represents a 65 per cent premium to Inmet’s underlying share price on 23 November.

Last month, Inmet rejected a C$4.86bn proposal from Toronto, London and Lusaka-listed First Quantum, saying it was not in the best interests of shareholders.

The increased offer values Toronto-based Inmet, which is building the Cobre Panama mine in Central America, at C$5.1bn.

The Cobre Panama mine, an undeveloped copper project, is a key draw for First Quantum, which wants to gain control of it.

Chief executive and chairman Philip Pascall said yesterday that First Quantum had received a “number of approaches” from key Inmet shareholders regarding the potential tie-up.

The miner added that the combined group would establish itself as a top five copper producer within five years, with “substantial free cash flow generation”.