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IMC FERTILIZER GROUP, INC. AND FREEPORT-MCMORAN RESOURCE PARTNERS AGREE TO FORM PHOSPHATE FERTILIZER JOINT VENTURE

 NORTHBROOK, Ill. and NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL) and Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners, Limited Partnership (NYSE: FRP) jointly announced today that they have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture which will include their respective phosphate fertilizer businesses, including phosphate rock and uranium.
 The partnership will be governed by a committee which will have equal representation from each company and will be operated by IFL. The consummation of the joint venture is subject to customary conditions and approvals, including the execution of a definitive agreement and approval of the boards of directors of IFL and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FTX), the managing general partner of FRP.
 Billie B. Turner, chairman and chief executive officer of IFL, said, "Combining these operations will allow our two companies to reduce the aggregate operating, marketing and general and administrative costs by more than $80 million per year. The joint venture is designed so that the distribution from the partnership will reflect each partner's respective contribution to the joint venture plus an equal sharing of the anticipated savings. This will allow us to enhance our performance during this uncertain time for the worldwide phosphate fertilizer industry."
 James R. Moffett, chairman and chief executive officer of FTX, said, "The disruption in world trade patterns in agricultural minerals markets has resulted in phosphate fertilizer prices trading at their lowest level in more than 17 years. Therefore, we are taking the appropriate steps to reduce our operating costs. These savings will have a direct positive impact on FRP's cash flow and will provide additional cash which would be available to support the distribution to FRP unitholders during this period of market readjustment. FRP unitholders will continue to benefit from the cumulative preference distribution through 1996, funded in part by the cash flow from the new joint venture. FTX will retain its 51.3 percent interest in FRP. This transaction is consistent with our continuing goal of reducing the operating and administrative costs ?managing our businesses."
 The phosphate partnership constitutes the second significant joint venture between the two companies. IFL and FRP are currently joint venture partners in the Main Pass 299 sulphur and oil and gas project located in the Gulf of Mexico. Main Pass contains the largest existing Frasch sulphur reserve in North America and will continue to be operated by FRP through its sulphur division.
 The phosphate joint venture will not include IFL's potash, Rainbow, sulphur and oil and natural gas operations. FRP will retain its sulphur and oil and natural gas operations and its geothermal interests.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: John Galvin (investors), 708-205-4814, or Tom Pasztor (media), 708-205-4801, both of IFL; or Craig Saporito (investors), 504-582-4476, or Jay Handelman (media), 504-582-4269, both of FRP/
 (IFL FRP)


CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc.; Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners,
 Limited Partnership ST: Illinois, Louisiana IN: CHM SU: JVN


GK-SH -- NY009 -- 6747 01/20/93 09:13 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
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