Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crapski: "Williams Cos Becomes Latest To Plan Split Into 2 Separate Firms (WMB; WPZ; KMI)

In premarket trade the stock is up 11.3% at $30.90.
After Kinder Morgan's IPO last week we started going through the natural gas and pipeline companies. WMB, of course, made a couple of the cuts but we didn't post anything. Sorry.
From Dow Jones via SmartMoney:
Natural gas company Williams Cos. (WMB) intends to split its businesses into two separate, publicly traded companies, joining a growing list of firms suggesting their segments are worth more separately than combined.
Williams plans to separate its exploration and production business from its infrastructure business via an initial public offering of up to 20% of the interest in third quarter and then spin off the rest to shareholders next year.
Shares surged 12% to $31.10 in after-hours trading, a level the stock hasn't touched since summer 2008.
Although Williams has benefited from higher commodity prices and strength at Williams Partners (WPZ), which holds gas-transportation and gathering assets, the company's bottom line was hit last year by restructuring and mark-to-market charges. The company has been seeking to simplify its structure.
Williams Cos. holds 73% limited-partner interest in Williams Partners and also possesses Canadian mid-stream and U.S. olefins assets.

The move to split the company follows similar recent plans disclosed by Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO), Sara Lee Corp. (SLE) and ITT Corp. (ITT), among others....MORE 
See also:
"Kinder Morgan IPO: Who’s Getting Rich?" (KMI) 
Kinder Morgan: Pipeline profits (KMP)