Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Williams [WMB] to Split Into Two Before Years End

Williams' [ticker WMB] board of directors has approved a revised plan to separate the company's businesses into two stand alone, publicly traded corporations. The revised plan calls for Williams to fully separate its exploration and production business via a tax free spinoff to Williams shareholders by year end 2011. The new independent exploration and production business will be known as WPX Energy, Inc.

The previously proposed plan was to conduct an initial public offering (IPO) of WPX Energy in 2011, followed by a spinoff of Williams' remaining WPX Energy shares in first quarter 2012.

Following the spinoff, Williams shareholders will own common stock in Williams, a premier owner/operator of North American midstream and natural gas pipeline infrastructure assets; and common stock in WPX Energy, a large scale, independent North American diversified exploration and production company with positions in key North American oil shale and gas basins along with additional holdings in South America. WPX Energy's stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WPX."

"The continued instability and weakness in equity markets, especially for new issuances, makes the IPO of WPX Energy appear unattractive in the near term," said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer.

"However, the strong growth in cash flows from our energy infrastructure businesses gives us the flexibility to revise our plans and prepare to separate WPX Energy by the end of this year.....Read the entire Rigzone article.

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