Copper mining company Inmet denies equity fund M&A rumorsadmin
RENO, NV -The chairman and CEO of Toronto-based copper producer Inmet Mining Monday denied rumors that a private equity fund is interested in acquiring the company.
In a conference call to discuss quarterly results, Inmet Chairman and CEO Richard Ross also told analysts â€œWe have no intention of hedging our copper or zinc production, given our relatively low production costs.â€
Although analysts have suggested that Inmet and fellow Canadian copper miner Aur Resources are attractive takeover targets, Ross insisted that â€œwe have not had any serious discussions with any private equity fund.â€ Besides, he added, it â€œwould not be in the best interest of our shareholders to consider any transaction with a private equity fund at this time.â€
Despite litigation and other delays, Inmet said the company remains on target to produce 80,000 tonnes of copper for 2006. Projected zinc production was lowered, however, to 74,000 tonnes.
Litigation by local Artvin, Turkey, NGOs has delayed planned production start-up for the $46 million Cerattepe copper/zinc project from 2008 to 2009, according to Inmet President and COO Jochen Tilk. Meanwhile, negotiations continue with labor unions at the Ã‡ayeli copper/zinc mine, also in Turkey. Tilk said he did not anticipate a strike since the talks remain ongoing.
For the third quarter of 2006, Inmet reported Cdn$111.6 million in net income or Cdn$2.31 per share, a 211% increase over the same quarter of 2005. For the first nine months of this year, Inmet reported a net income of Cdn$323.23 million or Cdn$6.71 per share, a 235% increase over the Cdn$96.39 million (Cdn$2.25 per share) reported during the first nine months of 2005.
Inmet attributed the increase to higher copper and zinc prices, noting that the higher prices â€œalso increased certain costs including the price participation we pay to smelters, income taxes, royalties we pay at Ã‡ayeli, and employee bonus compensation we pay at Ok Tedi.â€