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Williams Sells Major San Juan Gathering System to Affiliate for $1.2B

Williams Cos. said Thursday that it has brokered a deal to sell the remaining 74.9% interest in Williams Four Corners LLC to affiliate Williams Partners LP for $1.223 billion.

Williams Partners already has a 25.1% interest in Four Corners, having acquired it from Tulsa, OK-based Williams for $360 million in June. Four Corners owns a network of natural gas gathering, processing and treating assets in the San Juan Basin in Colorado and New Mexico.

Williams Partners said it plans to finance its payment of the purchase price through a combination of 50% debt and 50% equity. The transaction, subject to standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed later in the fourth quarter. The board of directors of the general partner of Williams Partners has already approved the purchase.

The Four Corner assets include a 3,500-mile natural gas gathering system in the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and Colorado, the Ignacio gas processing plant in Colorado, and the Kutz and Lybrook gas processing plants in New Mexico, which have a combined processing capacity of 760 MMcf/d. Also part of the sale package are the Milagro and Esperanza gas treating plants in New Mexico, which are designed to remove carbon dioxide from up to 750 MMcf/d of gas.

"Our 25.1% interest in Four Corners has been a key contributor in the partnership's performance this year," said Alan Armstrong, chief operating officer of the general partner of Williams Partners. "This planned acquisition of the remaining interest enables incremental growth in the partnership with proven assets and enhances our ability to generate stable cash flows for our unitholders."

The adjusted earnings attributable to a 100% interest in Four Corners was $136.7 million for the nine-month period ending Sept. 30. Distributable cash flow attributable to a 100% interest in Four Corners was $120.4 million for the same period.

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