Pipeline Giant Williams Rejects $64 A Share Takeover Bid From Energy Transfer
Pipeline giant The Williams Companies on Sunday rejected a $64 a share all-stock takeover offer from competitor Energy Transfer. The move comes as Williams works to reconfigure its operations amid pressure from shareholders, and during a consolidation wave among pipeline operators in North America.
Energy Transfer, chaired by billionaire Kelcy Warren, said on Sunday it made a stock-for-stock bid for Williams valued at $53.1 billion when including debt. The deal, priced at a 32% premium to Williams’ Friday closing stock price, would transform the pipeline sector and create a powerhouse to rival Kinder Morgan KMI +1.85%. It would also convert the combined company into a C-corporation, a move that Kinder Morgan made in late 2014 and that helped it weather an end-of-year rout in oil prices.
After roughly six months of attempts to engage with Williams, Energy Transfer said it was unable to start a friendly dialogue about a merger, forcing it to make an unsolicited bid. Energy Transfer said it does not foresee any regulatory hurdles to its merger bid, however, the Dallas-based company said its offer is contingent on Williams cancelling a May 13 acquisition of its MLP interest Williams Partners.