Williams has signed a definitive agreement to sell its equity interest in Williams Bio-Energy, LLC, for approximately $75 million to a new company formed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.
Williams Bio-Energy owns and operates an ethanol production plant in Pekin, IL, holds a 78.4% interest in another plant in Aurora, NE, and has various agreements to market ethanol from third-party plants. The Pekin and Aurora facilities produce about 135 million gallons of ethanol per year.
"This is good news for the employees of Williams Bio-Energy, the ethanol industry and the local areas around our plants in Pekin, IL, and Aurora, NE. We are very excited about our future with Morgan Stanley," said Ron Miller, president of Williams Bio-Energy.
Steve Malcolm, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "We're continuing to raise cash, reduce working capital requirements and reshape our company around natural gas. Every divestiture and every new dollar is a building block toward putting us in a better position to meet our future obligations."
The sale is projected to close in the second quarter, subject to completion of necessary closing conditions and Hart-Scott-Rodino review. Based on the terms of the sale, Williams expects to record an additional pre-tax loss in the fourth quarter of approximately $51 million.