Freeport confident about possible takeover of PD

Dec 01, 2006 | 05:38 AM | Sean Barry

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., New Orleans, is confident its $25.9-billion friendly takeover offer for copper producer Phelps Dodge Corp., Phoenix, will be given the all-clear from shareholders despite speculation that both companies could be the target of third-party bidders.

"We believe the deal we've negotiated is one that is attractive and will be presented to shareholders and approved," Richard C. Adkerson, Freeport's president and chief executive officer, told AMM in an interview. "Whether other parties come into the process on an unsolicited basis, only time will tell."

The mining industry has witnessed a wave of third-party bids this year. Attempts by Phelps Dodge to acquire Canadian nickel companies Inco Ltd. and Falconbridge Ltd. were quashed after losing out to competing bids.

However, there is a growing sense that interest from potential bidders is waning and the spread between the terms of the deal and the level of Freeport and Phelps Dodge shares had narrowed, indicating improved confidence among investors, analysts said.....





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