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Freeport, Plains sweeten deal

Shares of oil and natural gas explorer Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) jumped 7.4% after it and its suitor, miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), jointly offered 2 special dividends in a bid to win shareholder approval. The dividends would add about $470 mil to the prior $6 bil cash and stock buyout bid. The deal was opposed by 2 large Plains shareholders and 2 proxy advisory firms as too low. After the dividends announcement one proxy firm said it would vote for the deal. Freeport rose 0.6%.