Inmet Mining rejects 2nd First Quantum US$4.89 billion takeover bid

Inmet Mining has adopted a poison pill or shareholder rights plan in the wake of a second unsolicited takeover bid from copper rival First Quantum Minerals.

As Inmet Mining announced Wednesday that it had turned down a C$4.86 billion (US$4.89 billion) unsolicited 50/50 cash-and-stock bid by First Quantum Minerals, Inmet also revealed its board of directors had approved the adoption of a shareholder rights plan the company claimed “is not intended to prevent takeover bids.”

“Rather it is intended in the event of an unsolicited take-over bid to provide Inmet’s Board of Directors and shareholders adequate time to consider and evaluate any such take-over bid and, if appropriate, seek alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” said the company in a news release.

Inmet said they received “an unsolicited non-binding, highly conditional proposal” from First Quantum on November 25. It followed an Oct. 28, 2012 initial proposal by First Quantum that offered an acquisition price of $62.50 per Inmet share. That initial offer was rejected by Inmet’s board on November 1.

The latest First Quantum offer values Inmet at C$70 per share, according to Inmet. The Toronto-based miner said that under First Quantum’s new proposed cash and share offer, First Quantum would have paid up to C$2.46 billion in cash and issued a maximum of 112.679 million shares.

Inmet, which mines copper and zinc, has three wholly owned mining operations in Turkey, Spain, and Finland and also holds an 80% interest in the Cobre Panama development project in Panama now under construction.

The $6 billion Cobre Panama project is expected to mine 300,000 tonnes of copper annually for 30 years.

First Quantum owns two copper-gold mines in Mauritania and Zambia and the Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia. It is commissioning a nickel/copper/PGE project in Finland. The company expects to mine from 270,000 to 290,000 tonnes of copper this year, as well as 36,000 to 40,000 tonnes of nickel.

First Quantum hopes to become one of the top ten global copper miners by 2016, as well as one of the world’s top ten nickel producers.

Based in Vancouver, First Quantum Minerals has yet to comment on its latest proposed takeover offer for Inmet.

However, Raymond Goldie, senior mining analyst at Salman Partners in Toronto, told Reuters Inmet could also be attract5ive to a larger copper producer, such as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold or a Chinese company.

Earlier this month, Inmet dropped a hostile C$147 million bid for Cobre Panama neighbor Petaquilla Minerals after Inmet failed to secure sufficient shareholder support.

In 2011, Inmet and Equinox Minerals fought to get control of Lundin Mining after Lundin and Inmet had agreed to a friendly deal to create a C$9 billion company, which would have been called Symterra. Equinox was then bought by Barrick for $7.8 billion. (By Mineweb)

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