Canada's First Quantum Minerals sweetens takeover bid to $5.17 bn for Inmet Mining

Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd yesterday sweetened its hostile takeover bid for Inmet Mining Corp, in a C$5.1 billion ($5.17 billion) cash and stock deal, in order to emerge as one of the world's top five copper producers.

Vancouver, British Colombia-based First Quantum is now offering up to C$2.5 billion in cash and would issue a maximum of 115.9 million shares, valuing Inmet at C$72 a share, or C$5.1 billion.

This sweetened offer follows an initial C$62.50 bid tabled by First Quantum in October, and later raised to C$70.

First Quantum said that its present offer is 36 per cent higher than Inmet's closing price on 27 November, the day before Inmet had rejected its two earlier offers, and is also 2.9 per cent more than its previous offer of C$70 a share.

Late last month, Toronto-based Inmet disclosed that First Quantum had in October made a cash-and-stock offer of C$62.50 per share and in November hiked it to C$70 a share, but it had rejected the unsolicited bids and adopted a shareholders right plan or ''poison pill'' in order to make any takeover very expensive.

Inmet is developing the Cobre Panama copper mine, which requires$6.2 billion to develop, with plans to spend $6.2 billion on developing the second-largest undeveloped copper deposit to produce around of 266,000 tons a year.