The judge on Thursday denied the request, saying the plaintiffs have not shown that their claims have a reasonable probability of success.

Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said in December that it would pay $6.9 billion in cash and stock for Plains, and $2.1 billion for McMoRan Exploration Co., another oil and gas producer.

Plains shareholders are set to vote on the deal May 20.




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