VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2012) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. ("First Quantum" or the "Company") (TSX:FM)(LSE:FQM) confirms that it approached Inmet Mining Corporation ("Inmet") on a friendly basis to discuss a possible combination of the two businesses.
First Quantum has unrivalled expertise in project development and delivering large projects on time and on budget. Pursuant to the proposal, First Quantum requested limited access to Inmet's Cobre Panama development project, to be conducted within a period of 14 days. With the recent successful commissioning at Ravensthorpe and Kevitsa mines, as well as the ongoing construction of First Quantum's $1.72 billion mine at Sentinel, a project of similar size to the Cobre project, First Quantum's Project reputation and expertise is well established. We believed this would be useful in a combined company to the execution of the Cobre Panama.
On October 28th, Philip Pascall, Chairman and CEO of First Quantum, contacted both Inmet's Chairman, David R. Beatty, and its CEO, Jochen Tilk, in an attempt to discuss the benefits to shareholders of such a combination. This was followed up with a formal letter outlining the merits of the combination and terms of First Quantum's proposal for C$62.50 per Inmet share. On November 1st, Mr. Pascall received a short written response from Mr. Tilk declining this proposal.
Subsequently, on November 8th Mr. Pascall telephoned Mr. Tilk to request a face to face meeting to further discuss the original proposal. Mr Tilk subsequently declined via an email on November 13th, indicating that the Inmet Board and management team saw no merit in further discussing First Quantum's proposal.
In an attempt to provide a basis for further engagement, First Quantum submitted a revised and improved friendly proposal to Inmet on November 25th. In this improved proposal, First Quantum significantly increased its offer price to C$70.00 per share - structured as 50% cash, 50% First Quantum shares. First Quantum again sought to engage in a constructive dialogue with Inmet regarding this improved proposal.
On November 28th, the Inmet Board rejected First Quantum's improved proposal via public announcement, declining to engage in discussions and indicating that they believed the proposal to be "highly conditional". First Quantum's proposal included a short period of limited due diligence focused on Cobre Panama and was otherwise made on the basis of customary conditions for a transaction of this nature.
First Quantum's proposal to the Inmet Board related to a friendly transaction at a substantial premium to Inmet's recent trading prices, and it believes shareholders of Inmet would be supportive of the transaction.
Philip Pascall commented: "The transaction would have presented an opportunity to realize immediate and attractive cash value for the holders of Inmet shares while preserving the opportunity for both sets of shareholders to participate in the substantial upside value that we believe would be created through a combination. First Quantum is both surprised and disappointed at the circumstances under which the Inmet Board chose to forego this significant opportunity without ever engaging in any discussions, as they were three times invited to do."
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond First Quantum's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this press release are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release.
First Quantum does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.