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ONEOK Oannounces plan to separate natural gas distribution business

The board of ONEOK (OKE) unanimously authorized management to pursue a plan to separate the company's natural gas distribution business into a standalone publicly traded company, resulting in two independent, highly focused energy companies. Under the plan, ONEOK shareholders would retain their current shares of ONEOK stock and receive a pro-rata dividend of shares of stock in the new company in a transaction that is expected to be tax-free to ONEOK and its shareholders. Upon completion of the transaction, ONEOK will continue to hold its interests in ONEOK Partners (OKS), which include the sole general partner interest and limited partner interests that together currently represent 43.3%. ONEOK Partners is not affected by the proposed transaction. The new public company, to be called ONE Gas, Inc., will consist of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service. ONEOK expects a higher dividend than has been paid historically. It seems $1.1B-$1.2B one-time cash distribution from ONE Gas.