Freeport-McMoran has $7 bln debt financing to fund energy deals

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:50am EST

* Arranges $4 bln term loan, $3 bln revolving credit

* Funds to be used to help fund oil and gas takeover deals

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc said on Tuesday it has secured $7 billion in debt financing to help fund its move to diversify into oil and gas.

The copper miner said it had reached deals with two bank syndicates for a $4 billion term loan and a $3 billion revolving credit facility.

Freeport, faced with a lack of high-quality new copper deposits, agreed in December to buy Plains Exploration & Production Co and McMoRan Exploration Co in a bid to diversify into the U.S. energy sector. The deals, worth a combined $9 billion, are expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

The company said it will draw on the term loan when the takeovers close and may use it to fund the cash portion of the deals, among other things. The loan will mature five years from the date of borrowing.

Freeport said lender commitments under its acquisition bridge facility had been reduced from $9.5 billion to $5.5 billion in connection with the completion of the term loan.

The $3 billion revolving credit facility replaces an existing $1.5 billion revolving credit facility.

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