Terms of the deal call for Freeport-McMoRan to pay $6.9 billion in cash-and-stock for Plains Exploration and Production and another $3.4 billion in cash for McMoRan Exploration Company,
which shares a name
with its would-be acquiror stemming from a 1994 spin-off.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz corporate partner David Shapiro, antitrust partner Nelson Fitts, executive compensation and benefits partner Jeannemarie O’Brien, restructuring and finance partner Joshua Feltman, and tax partner Joshua Holmes are leading a team from the firm advising Freeport-McMoRan on the proposed transaction.
A press release
touting the merits of the proposed transaction proclaims that the combined entity will be a “premier U.S.–based natural resource company with an industry leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources, and a growing production profile.”
Houston-based Plains E&P has turned to Latham & Watkins for counsel on its proposed sale to Freeport-McMoRan. Michael Dillard, managing partner of the firm’s Houston office, and oil and gas industry cochair Sean Wheeler are leading a team from the firm working on the deal that includes M&A chair Mark Gerstein, tax partners Laurence Stein and John Clair, global employee benefits cochair James Barrall and partner Laurence Seymour, antitrust partner E. Marcellus Williamson and counsel Sydney Smith, capital markets chair and finance partner Patrick Shannon, litigation partner Blair Connelly, global environmental transactions chair Joel Mack, environmental partners Claudia O’Brien and Michael Romey, and mining industry partner Christopher Langdon.
Last year Vinson also lost
private equity partner Rodney Moore to Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he splits his time between the firm’s offices in Dallas and Houston, and is currently part of a team from the firm advising McMoRan on its potential combination with Plains E&P and Freeport-McMoRan.
Leading the Weil team advising McMoRan is corporate chair and M&A expert Michael Aiello. The company was introduced to Aiello by Weil bankruptcy partner Michael Walsh in New York, who had once worked with one of McMoRan’s directors on a restructuring matter.
Other Weil lawyers working on the matter include capital markets head Matthew Bloch, banking and finance partner Richard Ginsburg, tax partner Jared Rusman, IP partner Charan Sandhu, litigation partners John Neuwirth and Gregory Danilow, environmental partner Annemargaret Connolly, employee benefits partner Amy Rubin, antitrust head Steven Newborn, and real estate partner Samuel Zylberberg.
, another former Jones Walker partner, serves as general counsel for McMoRan.
Former Andrews Kurth partner
is a member of the board at McMoRan and also serves as general counsel and secretary of Plains E&P. At nearly $5 million in annual compensation, Wombwell is one of the most richly rewarded in-house lawyers in the Lone Star State,
according to sibling publication Texas Lawyer
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton corporate partner Victor Lewkow is representing Barclays Capital, which is serving as financial adviser to Plains E&P on the deal.
that the megamerger will concentrate Freeport-McMoRan’s oil and gas assets in the U.S., while its mining properties are primarily located abroad.
Completion of the complex transaction is expected to occur by the second quarter of next year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.