Freeport-McMoRan Takes a Dive as Investors Question Motives for Big Acquisitions
Freeport-McMoRan's plan to buy Plains Exploration Production, as well as its former sister firm, McMoRan Exploration, wasn't likely to get shareholder praise as it adds $20 billion to the company's debt and is comprised of hard-to-swallow premiums. Added to these factors is the web of connections between the firms: history, ownership, board members and executive gains related to the deal. If the company had struck a sweeter deal, investors might have looked the other way at corporate impropriety. Instead, they may be irate enough to try stopping it.