Energy Transfer Equity Calls Off Williams Companies Merger


Wednesday, June 29th 2016, 6:56 am
By: News On 6


Energy Transfer Equity announced early Wednesday it has called off a merger agreement with Tulsa's Williams Companies.  

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa Regional Chamber officials held a news conference to discuss Energy Transfer Equity's cancellation of Williams Companies merger. 

""It terms of days for Tulsa, it doesn't get much better than this," said Chamber of Commerce representative Jeff Dunn. Dunn held up the latest paperwork concerning the merger - now labeled with the letters "R.I.P."

The deadline for the merger was June 28.  Energy Transfer Equity released a statement early Wednesday saying it was entitled to terminate the agreement.

Energy Transfer Equity news release

That announcement comes after a Delaware judge Friday ruled that ETE could terminate the deal after its lawyers said they would not be able to deliver a tax opinion needed for the deal to close.

6/24/2016 Related Story: Judge: ETE Partnership Can Terminate Williams Merger

On Monday, 80-percent of William Companies shareholders voted for the merger.  Following the vote, Williams said that it would continue its legal fight for the merger with Energy Transfer Equity.  

6/27/2016 Related Story: Williams Shareholders Vote To Approve ETE Merger Monday

Wednesday morning, Williams Companies released a statement:

Williams issued the following statement:

"Williams does not believe ETE had a right to terminate the Merger Agreement because ETE breached the Merger Agreement by (among other reasons) failing to cooperate and use necessary efforts to satisfy the conditions to closing, including delivery of Latham & Watkins LLP’s Section 721(a) tax opinion. Accordingly, on June 27, 2016, Williams filed an appeal with the Delaware Supreme Court in connection with the Delaware Court of Chancery's June 24, 2016 ruling relating to the Merger Agreement between Williams and ETE.

Williams recognizes the practical fact that ETE has refused to close the merger. Williams has concluded that it is in the best interests of its stockholders to seek, among other remedies, monetary damages from ETE for its breaches. So, while taking appropriate actions to enforce its rights and deliver benefits of the Merger Agreement to its stockholders, Williams will renew its focus on connecting the best natural gas supplies to the best markets.

Williams remains well-positioned to meet the rapidly growing demand for natural gas and experience significant fee-based growth. Williams’ focus on fee-based revenue has produced strong cash flow, and looking forward, Williams expects continued growth from its portfolio of large scale demand driven projects and a fully contracted natural gas transmission business coming on in the balance of 2016, 2017 and 2018."

Last September, Energy Transfer Equity announced it would buy Williams Companies in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $33 billion.

9/28/2015 Related Story: Tulsa's Williams Companies Announces Billion-Dollar Buyout Deal