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PHOENIX (AP) - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold says it is buying oil companies Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration for about $9 billion.

The additions of the oil and gas drillers are expected to create a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to mines in Indonesia and Africa.

Freeport will buy Plains Exploration Co. for $50 per share in cash and stock totaling $6.9 billion. It will acquire McMoRan Exploration Co. for $14.75 per share in cash, or about $2.1 billion excluding interests already owned by Freeport and Plains.

McMoRan Exploration shareholders will also get a distribution of units in a royalty trust.

The deals are expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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