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Williams Communications

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is exchanging stock for assets, including an intercompany note, with its parent and largest shareholder, energy company


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Williams Communications, which provides voice, data, Internet and video services to communications service providers, will issue 24.3 million additional shares to Williams, which will then own 420 million shares, or 86 %, of the unit's stock, up from 85 % before the transaction.

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Williams Communication will purchase its outstanding promissory note from Williams Cos. and acquire other physical assets, including the 15-story, 750,000-square-foot Williams Technology Center, which, when completed, will sit adjacent to Williams Cos.' headquarters tower.

Shares of Williams Communications lost 60 cents, or 4.8%, to $12.04, while Williams Cos. dropped 66 cents, or 1.6%, to $40.33 in recent

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Both companies are based in Tulsa, Okla.

Williams Cos. said "this is another key step in executing the financing plan that we have previously outlined. We are aggressively working to complete the plan and resolve all remaining issues that predicate a final decision by our board on spinning off our communications business." A decision could be made between the end of the first quarter and the middle of this year.

Williams has previously said it is considering spinning off Williams Communications to the parent company's shareholders.