Energy Business

Williams Issues New Shares to Fund Access Midstream Buy

oil pipeline
Source: Thinkstock
When Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB) announced on Sunday night that it would pay $6 billion to acquire Access Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: ACMP), the company said it would pay for the acquisition in cash. On Tuesday, Williams priced a secondary stock offering of 53 million shares at $57 per share in a bid to raise about $3 billion to fund the purchase. Williams’ shares closed at $57.31 on Tuesday afternoon.

The underwriters have been granted a 30-day option on an additional 7.95 million shares. Joint book-runners for the offering are Citigroup, Barclays and UBS Investment Bank.

Williams offer to buy Access and merge it with Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) is a transformational move for the company, which will become a pure-play general partner (GP) holding company once the acquisition and merger are completed.

Analyst reaction to the buyout was generally positive. Jefferies raised its rating on Williams from Hold to Buy and its price target to $65. Credit Suisse also raised its price target on the stock to $65. At that price target, Williams’ stock has an implied gain of 14% above the secondary’s price.

Shares of Williams traded at $57.55 in the noon hour on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $31.25 to $59.68. The high was set Monday morning following Sunday’s announcement of the acquisition.

ALSO READ: What You Should Like in the Williams Merger Transformation

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