NEW YORK Dec 28 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
Inc cut its cash bid for McMoRan Exploration Co days before
announcing plans to buy the oil and gas company, prompted by
poor test results at one of McMoRan's wells, according to a
regulatory filing on Friday.
The bid was reduced by nearly 5 percent, from $15.50 to
$14.75 per share, following delays at McMoRan's Davy
Jones deep gas prospect off Louisiana, Freeport-McMoRan
said in the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Freeport-McMoRan had set out to merge with McMoRan as well
as Plains Exploration and Production Co in deals
totaling $20 billion earlier this year.
McMoRan confirmed problems with its well on November 26
following a production test, sending its stock down 22 percent
Freeport-McMoRan cut its bid just days before making the
plans for the deal public on December 5. Its stock fell 15
percent following the news as investors felt that merging with
McMoRan and Plains would distract from its copper business.