Inmet says prepared will let Petaquilla offer expire

Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:08am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO said on Tuesday it is prepared to let its C$109 million ($110.1 million) offer for Petaquilla Minerals Ltd PTQ.TO expire should the board of the Canadian gold producer continue to reject it.

Inmet said a deal with Petaquilla, which has interests in Panama, would not be material to the development of its own copper project in Panama.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Petaquilla operates a surface gold processing plant at its Molejon project in south-central Panama. Inmet has an 80 percent interest in Cobre Panama, one of the world's largest copper projects. Cobre Panama is now under construction.

Toronto-based Inmet's statement came in response to the Petaquilla board's rejection of the Inmet offer. Inmet said Petaquilla's board has provided no new information that would warrant a change in the offer.

"Given the ... absence of a viable alternative, shareholders should consider the impact on the Petaquilla share price in the event the Inmet offer does not proceed," Inmet Chief Executive Jochen Tilk said in a statement.

The offer, valuing the target company at 48 Canadian cents a share, was a 37 percent premium to Petaquilla's closing share price prior to Inmet's announcement of a possible bid. Since then, Petaquilla's shares have soared 74 percent.

On Tuesday, Petaquilla's stock fell 2 percent to 61 Canadian cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1= 0.99 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By S. John Tilak; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)