Inmet Mining Corp. (IMN.TO), owner of the world's second-biggest
undeveloped copper deposit, is forecast by investors and analysts
to attract rival takeover offers after it rejected a $4.86 billion
(US$4.9 billion) bid from First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM.TO),
First Quantum offered C$70 a share in cash and stock for
Toronto-based Inmet on Nov. 25, a month after proposing a purchase
at C$62.50, Inmet said on Nov. 28. The improved offer is 33% more
than Inmet's closing share price the day before it announced that
it had been approached.
Inmet will "go into play" if there are any signs of interest
from the "supergiant" mining companies, said David Baskin,
president of Baskin Financial Services Inc. in Toronto, referring
to Rio de Janeiro-based Vale SA. as a "logical buyer."
"If you start seeing signs of interest from those guys, you will
get a bidding war," Baskin, whose company manages about C$440
million and owns about 120,000 Inmet shares, said in a telephone
interview from Toronto. Inmet is probably worth C$85 a share, he
Teck Resources Ltd. (TCK-B.TO) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper &
Gold Inc. (
) may also be interested, Alex Terentiew and Ross Yakovlev,
analysts at Raymond James Ltd. in Toronto, said yesterday in a
Cobre Panama has 6.5 billion tons of copper resources, the
second-highest of any undeveloped copper project, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. Dogged by rising spending, regulatory delays
and funding concerns, it's expected to cost $6.2 billion and
produce 266,000 tons a year on average when construction is
complete. A project of that size would dwarf First Quantum's past
and present operations in Zambia, Mauritania and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
First Quantum said yesterday it was "surprised and disappointed"
by the rejection after inviting Inmet three times to enter into