Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX), Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE: PXP) and McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) announced today that they have signed definitive merger agreements under which FCX will acquire PXP for approximately $6.9 billion in cash and stock and FCX will acquire MMR for approximately $3.4 billion in cash, or $2.1 billion net of 36 percent of the MMR interests currently owned by FCX and PXP. Upon closing, MMR shareholders will also receive a distribution of units in a royalty trust which will hold a 5 percent overriding royalty interest on future production in MMR’s existing shallow water ultra-deep properties.
The combined company is expected to be a premier U.S.-based natural resource company with an industry leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources and a growing production profile. FCX’s mineral assets include the world class Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America, the Cerro Verde and El Abra operations in South America, the high potential Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a leading global molybdenum business. The addition of a high quality, U.S.-focused oil and gas resource base is expected to provide exposure to energy markets with positive fundamentals, strong margins and cash flows, exploration leverage and financially attractive long-term investment opportunities. The combined company’s long-lived resource base with commodities critical to the world’s economies provides enhanced opportunities to benefit from long-term global economic growth. On a pro forma basis for 2013, approximately 74 percent of the combined company’s estimated EBITDA (equals operating income plus depreciation, depletion, and amortization) is expected to be generated from mining and 26 percent from oil and gas, with 48 percent of combined EBITDA from U.S. operations.
The oil and gas assets being acquired are located in attractive onshore and offshore U.S. geologic basins. PXP’s major assets include its established strong oil production facilities in California, a growing production profile in the onshore Eagle Ford trend in Texas, significant production facilities and growth potential in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and large onshore resources in the Haynesville natural gas trend in Louisiana. MMR is an industry leader in the emerging shallow water ultra-deep gas trend with sizeable potential, located offshore in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore in South Louisiana. The MMR portfolio is expected to provide a large, long-term and low cost source of natural gas production.