In a July 13, 2018, research note, CIBC analyst Oscar Cabrera reported that Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX:NYSE) entered a nonbinding agreement with state-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (INALUM) and Rio Tinto regarding the Grasberg joint venture (JV) project in Indonesia.
Upon closing of the transaction, expected in the second half of 2018, PT Freeport Indonesia will own 60% of Grasberg, and INALUM will own the remaining 40%, after 2022. "The successful closing of the Grasberg transaction should close the price:net asset value gap to peers," Cabrera added, referencing Freeport McMoRan.
The analyst provided the agreement's terms, which are:
- INALUM would acquire Rio Tinto's 40% interest in the Grasberg JV for $3.5 billion. (Rio Tinto is PT Freeport Indonesia's JV partner in Grasberg. PT Freeport Indonesia is a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan.)
- INALUM would acquire 100% of Freeport McMoRan's interest in PT Indocopper Investama for $350 million. (PT Indocopper owns 9.36% of PT Freeport Indonesia). On closing of the transaction, INALUM would own ~51% of PT Freeport Indonesia, and Freeport McMoRan would own ~49%.
- Rio Tinto "would forego to Freeport [McMoRan]" an amount equal to the former's share of JV cash flows received between Jan. 1, 2018, and the deal's closing.
Cabrera noted for the deal to go through that PT Freeport Indonesia's mining rights need to be extended through 2041. Shareholders need to develop and agree on an arrangement for Freeport's continuing management of PT Freeport Indonesia's operations. Also, environmental regulatory issues need resolving.
Upcoming catalysts for Freeport-McMoRan, indicated Cabrera, include a rising copper price, a successful closing of the Grasberg transaction, "a potential special dividend and/or share buyback by the end of 2018 and execution of the Lone Star development project over the next 18 months."
As for Freeport generally, Cabrera asserted, "We continue to consider Freeport as the best-in-class North American copper miner." CIBC maintained its Outperformer rating and $20 per share price target on the copper miner, whose stock is trading today at around $16.77 per share.
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Disclosures from CIBC, Freeport McMoRan Inc., July 13, 2018
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Important Disclosure Footnotes for Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd.
· CIBC World Markets Inc. expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in the next 3 months.