Mining company Freeport-McMoRan is buying a pair of oil and gas producers for $9 billion, creating a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to a huge copper mine in Indonesia.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., based in Phoenix, said Wednesday it is paying $6.9 billion in cash and stock for Plains Exploration & Production Co. and $2.1 billion for McMoRan Exploration Co. The miner also will assume $11 billion in debt in the deal. Plains Exploration, based in Houston, produces oil in California, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, along with natural gas in Louisiana. McMoRan Exploration, based in New Orleans, is developing natural gas resources.