Williams buying big stake in Access Midstream Partners
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Williams Cos. is paying $2.4 billion to buy a large stake in Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s former midstream spinoff partnership, the Tulsa-based Williams announced Tuesday.
Williams is taking a 50-percent interest in Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners GP and 25 percent of Access Midstream Partners LP. The latter partnership owns and operates natural gas gathering and processing assets in the Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford and Haynesville Shales as well as the Granite Wash in Oklahoma and Texas, among other properties.
Access Midstream, formerly known as Chesapeake Midstream Partners before the namesake parent company sold it to raise cash earlier this year, will spend another $2.16 billion buy most of Chesapeake’s remaining gathering and processing assets.
Williams’ partner on the Access Midstream deal is Global Infrastructure Partners, which bought its stake directly from Chesapeake. The two firms will own Access Midstream GP, which holds the general partner control in Access LP, in a 50-50 arrangement, while Williams and GIP will own 25 percent and 43 percent, respectively, in the pipeline and processing firm.
“This transaction provides for a strategic investment by Williams in ACMP – two Oklahoma-based companies focused on providing safe, reliable infrastructure services to the natural gas industry – with an attractive, very strong financial sponsor, GIP,” Williams CEO Alan Armstrong said in a statement. “We have great confidence in ACMP’s proven management team and our comprehensive due diligence efforts on this transaction substantiate the depth and quality of talent throughout ACMP,” he said.
Access Midstream Partners LP will continue as an independent, publicly traded firm and keep its Oklahoma City headquarters following the transaction.