Tulsa Mayor Makes Case For Williams To Stay In Tulsa

Friday, May 6th 2016, 10:46 pm

Friday, Tulsa's mayor and the head of the Chamber of Commerce tried to make the case for saving Williams.

The company's existence and 1,000 Tulsa jobs are on the line because of a potential merger.

A small group went to Dallas and met with the head of ETE - the company trying to swallow up Williams and all those jobs.

5/6/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor In Dallas To Meet With ETE About Williams Merger

Mayor Dewey Bartlett came away from the meeting confident he made the case for Williams' to stay in Tulsa, but said he didn't get any commitments.

"I think he was very guarded in what he did say and didn't want to tell us something we might tell someone inappropriately, and we were very aware of that," he said.

But, Bartlett said Energy Transfer Equity's CEO, Kelcy Warren, seemed impressed with what he heard about Tulsa.

“I was more interested in telling our story and why Tulsa would prefer to see all those jobs stay here," the mayor said.

Investment experts like Jake Dollarhide say it's possible because the financial advantages of the merger no longer exist.

“There's the feeling this isn't going to happen,” he said.

Dollarhide said, with every indication the deal is in trouble, there's even potential for a stronger Williams to come out of it.

"Williams can go on about their business as usual. They can decide if they want to do an inversion with Williams Partner, what they wanted to do anyway, and that would allow them to become a bigger standalone company and become a buyer in this market and not a potential takeout candidate," Dollarhide said.

The companies have a late June deadline for completing the merger or walking away.


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