ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] announced today that its board of directors has given final approval for the spin-off of its downstream businesses. The resulting upstream company will keep the ConocoPhillips name and will be led by Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance. The downstream company, led by Chairman and CEO Greg Garland, will be known as Phillips 66. Both companies will be headquartered in Houston.
The two new companies will be separated through the distribution of shares of Phillips 66 to holders of ConocoPhillips common stock. This distribution is expected to occur after market close on April 30, 2012. ConocoPhillips shareholders will receive one share of Phillips 66 common stock for every two shares of ConocoPhillips common stock held at the close of business on the record date of April 16, 2012. Fractional shares of Phillips 66 common stock will not be distributed and any fractional share of Phillips 66 common stock otherwise issuable to a ConocoPhillips shareholder will be sold in the open market on such shareholder's behalf, and such shareholder will receive a cash payment with respect to that fractional share.
Following the distribution of Phillips 66 common stock, Phillips 66 will be an independent, publicly traded company, and ConocoPhillips will retain no ownership interest. Phillips 66 has received approval for the listing of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PSX.
ConocoPhillips has received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service to the effect that, based on certain facts, assumptions, representations and undertakings set forth in the ruling, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the distribution of Phillips 66 common stock and certain related transactions generally will not be taxable to ConocoPhillips or U.S. holders of ConocoPhillips common stock, except in respect to cash received in lieu of fractional share interests, which generally will be taxable to such holders as capital gain.
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