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Williams completes formation of US$3.8 billion strategic JV partnership

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Williams has announced the completion of the formation of a US$3.8 billion joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (‘CPPIB’) that includes Williams’ owned and operated Ohio Valley Midstream system (‘OVM’) in the western Marcellus and Williams’ owned and operated Utica East Ohio Midstream system (‘UEO’) in the Utica Shale play in eastern Ohio.

The finalisation of this joint venture agreement in the Northeast, announced in March 2019, includes the completion of CPPIB’s investment of approximately US$1.33 billion (subject to certain agreed-to, post-closing adjustments) for a 35% ownership stake in this long-term partnership. Williams retains 65% ownership, operates the combined business, and will consolidate the financial results of the joint venture in Williams’ financial statements.

The cash proceeds to Williams from the purchase by CPPIB of its stake in the joint venture are being used to offset the purchase price of Williams’ previously announced and completed acquisition of the remaining 38% ownership interest in UEO from Momentum Midstream, with the balance of proceeds used for debt reduction and to fund Williams’ extensive portfolio of attractive growth capital.

Williams expects synergies through common ownership by combining UEO and OVM to create a more efficient platform for capital spending in the region, resulting in reduced operating and maintenance expenses and creating enhanced capabilities and benefits for producers in the area.

“Closing this transaction is another significant milestone in enhancing our position in the Northeast and accelerating ongoing strengthening of our balance sheet,” said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams. “We now turn our focus to hitting the ground running with our new partner CPPIB, and look forward to growing our partnership and together, realising the shared benefits of the combining of assets in the basin.”

The joint venture excludes Williams’ ownership interests in Flint Gathering, Cardinal Gathering, Marcellus South Gathering, Laurel Mountain Midstream and Blue Racer Midstream.

Morgan Stanley and CIBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisers to Williams for the transaction. Gibson Dunn served as legal counsel to Williams.

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