Freeport CEO Open to All Options, Even Sale, After Grasberg – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – October 8, 2018)

With a resolution to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s Indonesian saga in sight, Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson says any strategic move is now possible, including acquisitions, partnerships, or even a sale of the entire company.

Freeport is planning to remain an independent entity, Adkerson said Thursday in a wide-ranging, 90-minute phone interview. “But if an opportunity for us to sell to another company would arise, and that would be good for our shareholders, you would see us trying to get the best deal we can get as opposed to being a company where management is trying to protect itself.”

Freeport has been engrossed in intensive negotiations with Indonesia to cede majority control of its flagship Grasberg mine to local interests for almost two years. With a package of agreements close to being sealed, “the future, strategically for us, is going to be wide open,” Adkerson said. “We have enormous resources.”

One possibility is acquisitions. While he wouldn’t rule that out, Adkerson said they are harder to justify than spending to expand the company’s existing portfolio of mining assets. “I would argue that we’re getting virtually no value at our share price today from our resources,” he said.

Freeport fell 0.9 percent to $13.16 at 9:35 a.m. in New York. Adkerson has previously highlighted the potential to expand its Lone Star operation in eastern Arizona, and to further develop resources in South America.

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