UPDATE 1-First Quantum takes C$5.1 bln bid to Inmet shareholders

Wed Jan 9, 2013 12:32pm EST
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* First Quantum sends C$72-per-share offer to shareholders

* Company says deal to create "new global leader in copper"

* Shares of Inmet up 0.21 percent at C$72.40 on TSX

* Shares of First Quantum fall 3.2 percent to C$20.85

TORONTO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - First Quantum Minerals Ltd on Wednesday launched a hostile takeover bid for smaller rival Inmet Mining Corp, as the Canadian base metal miner looks to transform itself into a top global copper producer.

First Quantum mailed its C$72-a-share offer to Inmet's shareholders, starting the clock on the takeover that values the smaller company at some C$5.1 billion ($5.17 billion).

Inmet's shares were trading just above the offer price at C$72.4 0 on Wednesday at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while First Quantum's stock was down 3. 2 p ercent at C$20. 8 5 .

T he latest offer, first outlined in mid-December, follows an initial bid of C $62.50 put forward in October. The next month, First Quatum r aised it s bid to C$70. [ ID:nL1E8NH0RO]

If successful, the deal would give First Quantum control of the Cobre Panama copper project in Central America, which is one of the world's largest undeveloped copper deposits.   Continued...