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Inmet Rejects First Quantum Bid After Allowing Due Diligence

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Inmet Mining Corp., the developer of the Cobre Panama copper project, reiterated its rejection of a C$5.1 billion ($5 billion) offer from First Quantum Minerals Ltd. for being too low, a day before the bid expires.

Inmet granted First Quantum full access to carry out due diligence on Feb. 17, the Toronto-based company said today in a statement. Inmet said it will continue to seek a sale of a minority stake in Cobre Panama.

“Despite its communication to Inmet shareholders stressing the link between due diligence and its ability to increase the offer, First Quantum has not increased its offer to date,” Inmet said in the statement.

First Quantum may need to extend its bid “slightly,” President Clive Newall said today at the BMO Capital Markets global Metals & Mining Conference in Hollywood, Florida. The C$72-a-share cash-and-stock offer is scheduled to expire 5 p.m. New York time tomorrow.

Inmet fell 0.3 percent to C$65.31 in Toronto. First Quantum rose 2.5 percent to C$18.87.

Gaining control of Cobre Panama would enable First Quantum to create one of the world’s five largest copper producers. The Vancouver-based company took its bid directly to Inmet investors Jan. 9 after Inmet’s board snubbed two earlier offers.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jefferies Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are advising First Quantum.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and law firm Torys LLP are advising Inmet. Scotiabank is financial adviser to the special committee of the Inmet board and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is its legal counsel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonja Elmquist in New York at selmquist1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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