Williams repurchases shares from Buffett

Tuesday, June 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa, Oklahoma-AP) -- Williams Companies said Tuesday it has repurchased nearly 1.5-million preferred shares for $294-million from investor Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.

The purchase price includes $5.3-million in dividends for MidAmerican, which is controlled largely by Buffett's Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway.

Williams says it was paying for the repurchase by privately issuing bonds due in 2033. Williams says the 5.5% bonds will save the Tulsa-based natural gas company $17-million.

MidAmerican purchased the shares in March 2002 for $275-million as Williams' finances were quickly worsening after the Enron collapse.