First Quantum Extends Inmet Offer as It Gets 61% Acceptance

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. extended its C$4.86 billion ($4.74 billion) hostile takeover offer for Inmet Mining Corp. and reduced the minimum amount of stock it needs to acquire after receiving support from investors holding about 61 percent of shares.

First Quantum changed its cash-and-stock offer so that it only needs to get more than 50 percent of the shares to meet the minimum tender condition, instead of two-thirds, the Vancouver-based company said today in a statement. The offer, which now expires March 21, had been scheduled to end last night.

First Quantum said it “anticipates being in a position complete the offer” and start paying for shares after midnight New York time on March 21. If it does win more than two-thirds of shares, it will seek to buy the rest of Inmet, the company said.

Inmet, based in Toronto, has fought the takeover, saying the price was too low. The company said last week it’s in “constructive” talks to sell a stake in Cobre Panama, the largest copper project under construction. First Quantum is seeking to gain control of Inmet’s mine to become one of the world’s five largest producers of the metal.

David Ryan, a spokesman for Inmet who works for Longview Communications Inc., had no immediate comment on the First Quantum statement. Inmet rose 1.9 percent to C$69.98 in Toronto while First Quantum gained 0.2 percent to C$20.69.

Diversifying Geography

Buying the company -- which also operates mines in Finland, Spain and Turkey -- would help First Quantum to diversify geographically, President Clive Newall said on a Dec. 17 conference call. First Quantum got 82 percent of its revenue from Africa in the third quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Newall also said in December that First Quantum can develop projects more cheaply than its peers and it would use its expertise to cut costs at Cobre Panama.

The Panamanian mine will cost about $6.2 billion to build and produce an average of 266,000 tons a year of the metal when completed, according to Inmet.

First Quantum took its cash-and-stock bid directly to Inmet shareholders Jan. 9 after Inmet’s board snubbed two earlier offers. The bid is currently valued at about C$70.10 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Inmet’s’ largest shareholder, Leucadia National Corp., has supported the offer. Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd., Singapore’s state investment company, is the second-largest shareholder, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jefferies Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are advising First Quantum, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is advising Inmet and Scotiabank is advising a special committee of the company’s board.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.