Williams Partners has agreed to acquire an additional 20% interest in Discovery Producer Services LLC from The Williams Companies for $78 million, the companies said Wednesday.

Williams Partners already owns a 40% interest in Discovery, which provides gathering, transportation, fractionation and processing services to producers operating in the shallow and deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to distributable cash flow for Williams Partners on a per unit basis for its unitholders.

The equity earnings attributable to a 20% interest in Discovery were $5.4 million for the 12-month period ending March 31. Distributable cash flow attributable to a 20% interest in Discovery was $10.3 million for the same period.

Williams Partners plans to fund its payment of the purchase price with cash on hand. The transaction, subject to standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed by the end of June.

The board of directors of the general partner of Williams Partners approved the transaction based on a recommendation by its conflicts committee. The conflicts committee, which is composed entirely of independent directors, retained independent legal and financial advisors to assist it in evaluating and negotiating the transaction.

©Copyright 2007 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.