North American energy firm
Williams Companies Inc.
) has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in natural gas partnership
Access Midstream Partners L.P.
) and a 50% interest in its general partner - Access Midstream
Partners GP LLC - from private equity firm Global Infrastructure
Partners. The transaction, valued at $2.4 billion, is expected to
close by the end of 2012.
ACCESS MIDSTRM (ACMP): Free Stock Analysis
CHESAPEAKE ENGY (CHK): Free Stock Analysis
WILLIAMS COS (WMB): Free Stock Analysis
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Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners, which was spun off
from U.S. gas producer
Chesapeake Energy Corp.
) in June and is now controlled by Global Infrastructure
Partners, provides natural gas gathering and processing service
in the country's major unconventional basins.
The acquisition will allow Williams - the third-largest U.S.
pipeline company - to broaden scale and scope of its
infrastructure services is some of the most promising shale gas
producing regions. Additionally, Williams expects the stake buy
to benefit its dividend growth starting from 2014.
In another development, Williams has commenced a public offering
of 46,500,000 shares of its common stock. The company also
intends to provide the underwriters with a 30-day option to
purchase up to 6,975,000 additional shares.
Williams plans to use a part of the net proceeds from this
offering to finance the above-mentioned acquisitions of stakes in
Access Midstream Partners L.P. and Access Midstream Partners GP
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams is a premier energy infrastructure
provider in North America. The company's core operations include
finding, producing, gathering, processing, and transportation of
Williams is currently a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) stock, implying that
it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity
market over the next one to three months. We are also maintaining
our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.