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Venture Completes $325M Deal For Chemical Refinery

PHOENIX (AP) â¿¿ A joint venture group led by Freeport-McMoran has completed its $325 million acquisition of a cobalt chemical refinery in Finland and related business from specialty chemicals maker OM Group Inc.

OM Group announced the deal in January, which it said marks its final step in exiting its legacy commodity businesses. The Cleveland-based company is shifting toward technology-based businesses that it feels have attractive growth prospects and more predictable profits.

The joint venture group behind the deal completed Friday includes Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Tenke Fungurume Mining, Lundin Mining Corp. and La Générale des Carrières et des Mines.

Freeport will hold a 56 percent stake in the joint venture, which will operate under the name Freeport Cobalt.

Freeport, an international mine company based in Phoenix, Ariz., said the deal enhances its cobalt marketing position, product portfolio and product development capabilities, as well as providing direct end-market access for the cobalt hydroxide production at Tenke. The other members will share the remaining 44 percent stake.

The companies valued the deal at $355 million, which includes approximately $30 million of acquired cash.

Under the terms of the agreement, OM Group may receive up to $110 million over the period of three years in additional payments if it meets certain performance targets.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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