Freeport to issue more debt to help fund energy deals

TORONTO Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:01am EST

TORONTO Feb 28 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc said on Thursday it plans to issue senior notes through a private placement, with the proceeds to help fund the copper producer's move into oil and gas production.

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 separate deals worth a combined $9 billion.

The Phoenix-based company secured $7 billion in debt financing earlier this month, including a $4 billion term loan and a $3 billion revolving credit facility.

Freeport will use the proceeds of the senior note offering, together with its term loan, to fund the two deals, which are expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

The copper and gold miner did not give any details on the value of the private placement.

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