Freeport was founded in 1912 (then called Freeport Sulphur) in Freeport, Texas and currently employs over 36,000 people and is the US' largest miner.
According to a Wall Street Journal report today, Aaron Regent's private equity firm, Magris Resources, is among the bidders for Freeport-McMoRan's (FCX:NYSE) Candelaria copper mine in Chile which could raise multiple billions of dollars for the world's second largest copper producer.
Aaront Regent, who was fired as CEO of the world's largest gold producer, Barrick, after shareholders demanded a head roll for the underperformance of the company's shares has raised billions for his private equity firm, Magris, which is still looking for its first large asset.
Magris reportedly lost its bid for the Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona which was sold by BHP Billiton to Vancouver-based Capstone Mining for $650 million (and has been a big win for the company).
Regent's firm also lost out on a bid to buy the Las Bambas copper mine from Glencore Xstrata, an asset bought by a Chinese consortium for $6 billion.
Freeport, like many of the other majors, are struggling to offload projects in order to pay down large debts. Freeport has over $20 billion in debt the company is looking to pay down. In May, they agreed to sell their Eagle Ford Shale assets for $3.1 billion.
According to the report, Freeprot CEO Richard Adkerson said he wants to invest more within the U.S., which he says has more consistent, and in some cases, easier environmental and labor rules.
Candelaria - in which Freeport owns 80% and Sumitomo 20% - is Freeport's fifth biggest mine overall by number of union employees and second biggest in Chile. The project produced 370 million lbs of copper in 2013 as well as 87,000 ounces of gold.