The Oneok Inc. board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved the separation of the company's natural gas distribution business into a stand-alone, publicly traded company to be called ONE Gas Inc.
Oneok will continue to hold its interests in Oneok Partners LP, which include the sole general partner and limited partner interests that together represent 41.2% of the outstanding partnership interests, as of Dec. 31.
ONE Gas will consist of Kansas Gas Service, Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. and Texas Gas Service, and will be headquartered in Tulsa, OK. It will be one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States, serving more than 2 million customers in three states, and it will be a 100% regulated, publicly traded natural gas utility.
The plan to spin off the utility business was announced last July (see Daily GPI, July 26, 2013).
At closing, Terry K. Spencer will become president and CEO of Oneok and Oneok Partners, and a member of the Oneok board of directors; he will remain on the Oneok Partners board. Spencer succeeds John W. Gibson, who will retire after more than seven years as CEO of Oneok and Oneok Partners and almost 14 years with the company, and become non-executive chairman of Oneok, Oneok Partners LP and ONE Gas.
At closing, Pierce H. Norton II will become president and CEO of ONE Gas and a member of the ONE Gas board.
Shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 21 will retain their current shares of Oneok stock and receive one share of ONE Gas stock for every four shares of Oneok stock owned. ONE Gas shares will be distributed following the close of business on Jan. 31, and the transaction will close.
ONE Gas common stock is expected to begin "regular-way" trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Feb. 3 under the symbol "OGS." Oneok will continue to trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "OKE." ONE Gas common stock is expected to trade on a "when-issued" basis, and Oneok common stock is expected to trade on an "ex-distribution" basis, both on the NYSE on Jan. 16.