NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of McMoRan Exploration jumped nearly 50 percent before Wednesday's opening bell, after the Financial Times reported on its front page that the company could be the target of a buyout
Citing people familiar with the matter, the paper reported that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. wants to return to its roots as an energy producer and that in addition to buying McMoRan Exploration, an oil and gas driller, it wants to acquire a large oil and gas group. That would potentially give Freeport two companies that operate oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
The result would be a big shift in strategy for Freeport and create a natural resources conglomerate worth close to $50 billion including debt.
New Orleans' McMoRan Exploration was spun off from Freeport in 1994.