ETE Tries New Tactic to Scuttle Williams Takeover Deal

shotgun weddingThe proposed takeover/merger of Williams by Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is better than a daytime soap opera. It was a long courting period before ETE finally cajoled, harangued, and eventually forced the board of Williams to agree to a merger/takeover. ETE’s billionaire CEO Kelsy Warren revealed he had been propositioning Williams for over six months–offering Williams $64 per share to buy the company, totaling $48 billion (see Energy Transfer Makes “Indecent Proposal” to Buy Williams for $48B). Williams resisted, but eventually they caved and agreed to the deal–although the deal price went down $10 billion by the time they accepted (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). But things changed. Prices for natural gas (and oil) went into the basement, and ETE/Kelsy Warren had second thoughts (see ETE Wants Out of Williams Merger/Takeover, Offering $2B Breakup Fee). Williams, however, isn’t backing down. “You wanted us? You’re going to take us.” That’s the sentiment. So ETE has been doing funky things to scuttle the deal, like issuing private shares to insiders so they come out on top. Williams took note and sued (see Merger Turns Sour: Williams Sues ETE/CEO Kelcy Warren). The latest action taken by ETE to disrupt the deal is by filing a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission that says if the closing stays on schedule the whole thing may be taxable, when before it was thought they would qualify for exemptions. Williams once again disagrees…

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