Aborted Williams Merger/Shenanigans Take the Shine Off ETE’s CEO

ETE CEO Kelsey Warren
ETE CEO Kelsey Warren

Until now, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) CEO Kelsey Warren has been the golden boy. By snapping up a series of small pipeline companies at just the right time, Warren has created the ETE empire and turned himself into a billionaire in the process. It seemed he could do no wrong when it came to midstream business deals. And then he bit off more than he could chew: Williams. Warren pursued Williams for more than six months before it became public (see Energy Transfer Makes “Indecent Proposal” to Buy Williams for $48B). It took another three months after that before he finally got them to agree to a merger (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). Whether it was rotten timing, or rotten planning, the natural gas market crashed and the deal turned from crowning jewel to albatross. Along the way Warren pulled some shenanigans, like creating a privileged class of stock that gave himself and his buddies a leg up on Williams shareholders (see Merger Turns Sour: Williams Sues ETE/CEO Kelcy Warren). A Bloomberg article chronicles the rise, and now fall, of the midstream’s golden boy…

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