War of Words: Battle to Sell MarkWest Energy to Marathon Heats Up

The war of words continues in what increasingly appears to be a losing battle for MarkWest Energy to convince enough shareholders to vote in favor of a proposed sale to Marathon Petroleum. We told you two weeks ago that John Fox, former CEO of MarkWest Energy, came out strongly against the deal (see Former MarkWest Energy CEO Urges Vote Against Marathon Buyout). Since that time Marathon has increased the amount of cash they’re willing to offer–twice–from an original $675 million to now $1.28 billion (see Marathon Ups Cash Offer for MarkWest 2nd Time – Deal in Trouble?). The original deal was worth around $20 billion when you include unit swaps and other considerations. Now the deal is worth around $15 billion due to unit prices plunging over the past few months. Two days ago MarkWest promoted the news that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an “independent” proxy advisory firm, was recommending unitholders vote in favor of the deal. Yesterday John Fox issued his own rebuttal to ISS and continues to say this is “fundamentally a bad deal” and that ISS’ own report supports his arguments against the deal. It’s getting hot in the kitchen!…

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