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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Freeport deals lead to flurry of lawsuits against directors, (NYSE: MMR)

Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc's $9 billion deal to purchase two energy exploration companies has put the company and its directors in an unusual position.A flurry of lawsuits in Delaware accuses Freeport and its directors of paying too little for McMoRan Exploration Co and Plains Exploration & Production Co, as well as paying too much.Companies leading a takeover routinely face class actions from the shareholders of target companies who complain the purchase price is too low, and those lawsuits normally settle for little more than added information about how the deal was negotiated.What is far more unusual - and potentially more uncomfortable for Freeport's directors - is for shareholders of the acquiring company to go after their own directors for overpaying, something that has only occurred in a handful of deals.

McMoRan Exploration Co. (McMoRan) is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the shallow waters (less than 500 feet of water) of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore in the Gulf Coast area of the United States. Shares of MMR fell by 0.13% or $-0.02/share to $15.96. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $7.25 and as high as $16.13. On average, 5583540 shares of MMR exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2512973.