Freeport McMoRan CEO Talks About a "Magical Week"

Monday, 26 Mar 2007 | 10:43 AM ET

"Last week was a magical week for us," Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold CEO Richard Adkerson said on "Squawk Box."

The New Orleans mining giant closed on its acquisition of Phoenix-base Phelps Dodge for $26 billion, then boosted a planned stock offering to help cut some of the $17.5 billion debt it took on for the deal.

Freeport’s stock offering has now been upped to $5 billion, from the $3.5 billion originally planned. The company now also has access to the $3.5 billion in cash that was in Phelps Dodge's treasury.

Such large deals and high leverage may seem risky but Adkerson seems to be taking it all in his stride.

Metal & Mining M&A
Discussing the commodities market with Richard Adkerson, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold president & CEO, and CNBC's Becky Quick

“The mining business always involves risk," he said. "We’ve developed arguably the greatest ore body in the history of the mining business in a very tough place.”

Adkerson was also bullish about the outlook for the company.

“If commodity prices stay strong, it’s a slam-dunk, [but] you always have to prepare yourself to deal with a weaker price environment and this deal makes a lot of sense at much lower prices.”

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  • Joe Kernen is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program.

  • Becky Quick is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program. She's also a columnist for Fortune.

  • Andrew Ross Sorkin is a co-anchor of "Squawk Box," a financial columnist for "The New York Times" and the editor-at-large of NYT's DealBook.