NEW YORK First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has extended until March 21 its Canadian $5.1-billion offer to acquire Inmet Mining Corp.
About 43.2 million Inmet shares representing about 61.45 percent of the outstanding shares had been tendered to the offer as of 11:59 p.m. March 11, the original offer expiration date, according to Vancouver, British Columbia-based First Quantum.
The news came after Toronto-based Inmet again urged its shareholders to reject First Quantums hostile takeover bid (amm.com, March 8).
"We are delighted with the overwhelming support that Inmet shareholders have shown for our offer," First Quantum chairman and chief executive officer Philip Pascall said in a March 12 statement. "We have varied our offer such that the minimum tender condition will now be satisfied if more than 50 percent of the Inmet shares have been tendered at the revised expiry time of the offer."
First Quantum said that if more than 66.66 percent of the outstanding Inmet shares are validly deposited under the offer by March 21, it will implement a subsequent acquisition transaction to acquire the balance of the Inmet shares.
First Quantum said the transaction could take several months. "We urge all Inmet shareholders who havent yet tendered to do so before 11:59 p.m. on March 21 so that they can receive the consideration for their shares sooner rather than later," Pascall said.
First Quantum anticipates being able to complete the offer and begin taking up and paying for shares soon after the offers expiration.
Inmet has said First Quantums offer is inadequate and that shareholders should expect their investment to do better as the company progresses with the development of its Cobre Panama copper mine, which is fully financed and permitted.
First Quantum claims it could eliminate $1 billion in costs at Cobre Panama, which is expected to drive Inmets copper production up 176 percent by 2018 (amm.com, Jan. 23).