Williams “Incentivizes” Shareholders to Vote for Merger

bribery.jpgOn Friday Williams issued a couple of interesting press releases related to what they hope is a vote to accept Energy Transfer Equity’s offer of a merger. The first press release says the Williams board will pay shareholders 10 cents per share as a bonus if they vote “for” the merger. A little incentive. What we would call a bribe–although there’s nothing illegal about it. It smacks of desperation in our book. But perhaps we know why they’re offering a little more honey to entice people to vote “yes” for the merger. That’s because of the second press release. When the merger was first announced, both ETE and Williams claimed there would be “$2 billion in annual synergies” between the two companies following a merger (see Williams Accepts ETE’s “Indecent Proposal” – Price Went Down $10B). Williams’ second press release on Friday revised that $2 billion “benefit” number down–to almost nothing. Now the claim is there will be $126 million in synergies–94% less than the original claim…

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