Phelps Dodge buyout OK’d - East Valley Tribune: Business

Phelps Dodge buyout OK’d

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Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2007 12:49 am | Updated: 6:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The last major hurdle to the $25.9 billion acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corp. by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold was cleared Wednesday when shareholders of both companies voted for the merger.

About 98 percent of the votes cast at two special shareholder meetings supported the transaction. The acquisition is expected to close Monday.

The combined company, which will be the largest publicly traded copper producer in the world, will operate as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, though businesses operated by Phelps Dodge will continue to use that name.

Richard Adkerson will serve as CEO of the combined company.

The headquarters will be in Phoenix, where Phelps Dodge has its headquarters. Freeport will continue to keep a New Orleans office to handle administrative functions for its Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of reserves.

Phelps Dodge’s CEO J. Steve Whisler, who will retire, said the combination will be “very successful.”

Phelps Dodge shareholders will receive $88 in cash and .67 of a share of Freeport common stock for each Phelps Dodge common share. That’s the equivalent of $125.53 a share based on the closing price of Freeport’s common stock on Tuesday, the companies said.

The Grasberg mine will remain the key asset of the combined company. Phelps Dodge brings major copper mining operations in North and South America to the merger. The company is working on a new $550 million copper mine near Safford and an $850 million expansion of its Cerro Verde mine in Peru and plans a $650 million copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The company is the largest copper miner in Arizona with operations in Morenci, Bagdad, Miami, Green Valley and Sahuarita, and employs about 6,000 in the state.

Merger details

WHAT HAPPENED: Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold’s $25.9 billion acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corp. was approved. NAMES: The combination will operate as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, though businesses operating as Phelps Dodge will continue under that name. The company will remain based in Phoenix.

JOB CUTS? Freeport officials have said they do not expect any job cuts or facility closures since the two companies’ operations do not overlap. Phelps Dodge has about 15,000 employees, while Freeport has about 10,000.

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