Williams Partners Acquires Remaining Four Corners Interest

Williams Partners L.P. and Williams said late Wednesday that Williams Partners has completed its acquisition of the remaining 74.9 percent interest in Williams Four Corners LLC that it did not own from Williams for $1.223 billion. Williams Partners now owns 100 percent of Four Corners.

Williams Partners completed the transaction after successfully closing a $600 million private debt offering of senior unsecured notes due 2017, a private equity offering of approximately $350 million of common and Class B units, and a public equity offering of 8.05 million common units that yielded net proceeds of approximately $293.7 million.

The net proceeds of the public equity offering include exercise, in full, by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional common units to cover over-allotments.

"This acquisition makes Four Corners -- with its stable cash flows and a relatively high percentage of fee-based revenues -- the cornerstone of Williams Partners' asset portfolio and enhances our ability to generate stable cash flows for our unitholders," said Alan Armstrong, chief operating officer of the general partner of Williams Partners.

The board of directors of the general partner of Williams Partners approved the transaction based on a recommendation from its conflicts committee. The conflicts committee, which is comprised entirely of independent directors, retained independent legal and financial advisers to assist it in evaluating and negotiating the transaction.

Steve Malcolm, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Williams, said the transaction is also advantageous to Williams.

"While Williams will maintain operational control of Four Corners, the low-cost capital raised through this transaction can be invested in areas where the company is actively pursuing disciplined growth," Malcolm said.

Four Corners owns certain gathering, processing and treating assets in the San Juan Basin in Colorado and New Mexico. These assets are comprised of:

  • a 3,500-mile natural gas gathering system in the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and Colorado with capacity of 2 billion cubic feet per day;
  • the Ignacio natural gas processing plant in Colorado and the Kutz and Lybrook natural gas processing plants in New Mexico, which have a combined processing capacity of 760 million cubic feet per day; and
  • the Milagro and Esperanza natural gas treating plants in New Mexico, which are designed to remove carbon dioxide from up to 750 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Citigroup and Lehman Brothers acted as financial advisors to Williams in connection with this transaction.

Williams, through its subsidiaries, primarily finds, produces, gathers, processes and transports natural gas. The company also manages a wholesale power business. Williams' operations are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Gulf Coast, Southern California and Eastern Seaboard.

Williams Partners L.P. primarily gathers, transports and processes natural gas and fractionates and stores natural gas liquids. The general partner is Williams Partners GP LLC.