Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. executives receive hefty salaries and stock bonuses but they’ve also set up very large golden parachutes in case the Phoenix-based copper miner gets acquired.
There has been speculation that Freeport (NYSE: FCX) might be a merger target.
The copper giant reports in its proxy statement $30 million in 2011 compensation for chairman James Moffett and $31 million for CEO Richard Adkerson.
But if long-term stock awards and options are added in it could be much higher. The Arizona Republic estimates Adkerson’s grand total at $82 million.
The company notes that much of their executive pay is linked to copper prices, production and profits.
Freeport McMoRan executives also enjoy some expensive perks. Moffett spent more than $348,000 on aircraft and another $176,000 on cars and security last year.
Adkerson, who serves on the Arizona Commerce Authority board, spent $238,000 on flights and $164,500 on cars and security, according to the company proxy.
The copper company has also set up some golden parachutes for its top brass if Freeport is acquired or merges with another mining conglomerate.
Adkerson and Moffatt would potentially receive $61 million each if Freeport is acquired and they are replaced. They are due to receive $38 million each if they replaced without a merger.
Freeport has mines in Arizona as well as other locations including Indonesia were workers went on strike last year over pay. Indonesian miners were paid $1.50 to $3.00 per hour before getting raises after the strike.
CFO Kathleen Quirk would get a $16.6 million golden parachute if Freeport gets bought and new management takes over. She received a $7.8 million compensation package in 2011.
The company has copper, silver, gold and other mines.
Freeport has by the largest compensation deals for its executives among Arizona-based public companies and some of the largest in the U.S..
Even the company’s board of directors fare pretty well. B.M. Rankin Jr. received $1.27 million in pay for serving on the Freeport board last year. Other directors were paid between $418,000 and $544,000 to serve on the board.
Freeport will hold its annual shareholder meeting June 14 in Delaware.