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Louisiana oil and gas company set to be acquired at end of May

Business transactions are often complicated and require delicate negotiations. Mergers and acquisitions are no exception. In most cases, the players involved want to focus on the key issues and avoid problems. Inevitably, business disputes sometimes arise, however. A smart and calculated response can help settle the dispute while a miscalculation or wrong step can completely kill the deal.

Plains Exploration & Production Co, an oil and gas company with operations in Louisiana, California, Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, is soon to be acquired by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Freeport-McMoRan has been planning the acquisition since last year, with the majority of shareholders approving the deal on May 20. The goal of the acquisition is to create "a premier US-based natural resource company." The combined corporation is said to have a value of approximately $60 billion.

While most people in charge of large companies and corporations are seasoned and experienced business professionals, disputes sometimes arise that cannot be settled on their own. A third-party attorney with experience navigating these challenging waters can assist business professionals in protecting their own interests while negotiating lucrative deals.

Contracts often play a big role in mergers and acquisitions and for this reason, the wording of the contracts and the specific provisions included are critical. It is important to attempt to avoid breach of contract situations because a breach can not only delay negotiations and result in costly disputes but can also result in serious financial harm to all the parties involved. Communicating clearly and effectively with all parties involved, in both the written and verbal communications, can help ensure that a successful business transaction results without needless problems. If a dispute does arise, however, it is important to respond quickly to prevent problems that can prejudice a case.

Source: Oil & Gas Journal, "Mining firm getting closer to acquiring Plains E&P," May 21, 2013

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