Williams Cos. (WMB) said it plans to offer 26 million of its shares as part of an effort to help fund Williams Partners L.P.'s (WPZ) $2.5 billion acquisition of Caiman Eastern Midstream LLC.
Williams Partners, which unveiled the acquisition plan earlier this month, is the midstream and interstate gas pipeline asset-holder of energy company Williams Cos.
Williams Cos. said it intends to use the money raised from the stock offering to buy Williams Partners common units to help fund the deal. Williams Cos. has roughly 600 million shares outstanding.
Williams Partners expects significant growth in gathering volumes and natural-gas liquids production from the Caiman assets. There are an estimated 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place within a 35-mile radius of the existing gathering system there, and a significant amount remains undedicated, it has said. Williams had said it planned to make an investment in Williams Partners of approximately $1 billion to facilitate the Caiman deal.
Last month, Williams Cos. said it swung to a fourth-quarter loss, mostly on write-downs related to its former exploration and production business, while Williams Partners's fourth-quarter earnings improved on strong margins on natural-gas liquids.
Williams Cos. shares closed at $30.59 Thursday and were down 0.8% after hours. The stock is up 15% over the past three months.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; firstname.lastname@example.org