Plains' Flores to be paid no less than Freeport's top brass

Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:19pm EST

(Reuters) - Plains Exploration & Production Co PXP.N Chief Executive James Flores will be paid no less in his new role as head of Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Co's (FCX.N) oil and gas business than the salary of current Chief Executive Richard Adkerson or Chairman Jim Bob Moffett, according to a filing.

Freeport announced a deal on Wednesday to buy Plains as well as another oil and gas company, McMoRan Exploration Co MMR.N, for $9 billion in a bold bid to diversify into the U.S. energy sector as copper's prospects wane. <ID: nL1E8N52E3>

Flores has also agreed to take Freeport stock in exchange for his Plains restricted stock units that accelerate as a result of the deal. That payout of stock is currently worth more than $130 million.

(This story has been corrected to change word in paragraph 3 to "deal" from "filing")

(Reporting By Michael Erman; Editing by Bernard Orr)