Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a diversified energy and natural resources group, said Wednesday that it will launch a major restructuring and sell up to $1.5 billion in assets, the second time this year the company has taken steps to push up its stock price.
In May, apparently feeling that Wall Street was not fairly valuing the company, Freeport took on a heavy debt load to buy back more than 20% of its stock. Freeport is active in sulfur, oil, gas and copper.
Under the restructuring, Freeport said it will seek buyers for its 61%-owned Freeport-McMoRan Gold Co. affiliate, certain nitrogen fertilizer facilities and a 25% interest in South Korean fertilizer producer Namhae Chemical Corp. Over the past several years, Freeport said it has received a dividend of about $2 million annually from Namhae.
The company said it will focus its core business on phosphate fertilizer, oil and gas, and a copper and gold discovery in Indonesia.
In May, the company bought back 15.6 million shares.