Global Energy Awards: Williams Wins ‘Deal of the Year’ for Access Midstream Acquisition

Williams earned recognition for the strategic significance and successful closure of the Access Midstream acquisition. The transaction poises Williams to reach its goal of becoming North America’s top provider of natural gas infrastructure.


Williams received the Deal of the Year award last night at the Global Energy Awards in New York for its acquisition of controlling interest in Oklahoma City-based Access Midstream Partners, L.P. on July 1, 2014.

Williams was recognized for the strategic significance and successful closure of the Access Midstream acquisition, a transaction that poises Williams to reach its goal of becoming North America’s top provider of natural gas infrastructure.

“This award underscores the magnitude of the Williams-Access combination in the natural gas infrastructure space,” said Williams’ Chief Executive Officer Alan Armstrong. “I appreciate the recognition and most importantly want to thank employees at Williams and Access for their tremendous work integrating the organizations. What’s emerging is a best-in-class energy infrastructure provider with superior assets, enhanced positions in key basins and more service and market opportunities for our customers.”

The addition of Access Midstream more than doubles the volume of natural gas Williams gathers each day to 11 billion cubic feet and makes Williams a natural gas powerhouse with positions in most key North American production basins. It combines the depth of Access Midstream’s expertise in the gathering and processing function with the breadth of Williams’ capabilities across the broader natural gas value chain.

Finalists for the Global Energy Awards were chosen from a list of nearly 250 nominations, based on their performance for each category’s criteria within the designated time frame. The independent panel of judges included former regulators, past heads of major energy companies, leading academics and international energy experts.

The Global Energy Awards have been held every year since 1999. The competition is sponsored by Platts – a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes information about worldwide energy markets and news.

Details of the Deal

Consistent with its strategic vision to enhance its exposure to key basins, Williams in 2012 began looking closely at Access Midstream, recognizing it as an established, growing master limited partnership with a strong presence in new, attractive basins, especially where Williams did not yet have a presence. With its impressive growth trajectory, Access would significantly diversify Williams’ portfolio and over the long term would support Williams’ strategy and ability to provide attractive dividend growth.

Williams structured a deal in which it would acquire a portion of Access in one phase and have the option to acquire additional interest in a second phase. In December 2012, Williams paid $2.25 billion to private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for ownership interest in Access. Williams and GIP each owned 50 percent interest in Access with a right-of-first-offer on the sale of each other’s interests.

Williams’ initial investment in Access proved to be financially rewarding with the per unit price nearly doubling from $32 in December 2012 to $65 in June 2014 prior to the second acquisition. This initial stake also provided Williams good visibility into Access’ business. Williams found that Access complemented its commercial, financial and people strategies. Eighteen months after its initial investment, Williams decided to exercise its right to acquire the balance of Access from GIP for $5.995 billion.

The $8.2 billion total investment – executed in a deliberate, two-phase transaction – shot Williams’ stock to an all-time high and drove it to the No. 1 performer in the S&P 500 for second-quarter 2014, far outpacing energy peers and companies across other industries.

Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although we believe any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.