Tulsa's Williams Companies Rejects Unsolicited $48 Billion Buyout

Sunday, June 21st 2015, 10:01 pm
By: News On 6

The Williams Company has announced that it turned down an unsolicited outside proposal to acquire the company, saying it undervalued Williams.

The offer was for $64 per share or $48 billion, according to reports, which is a 33 percent premium to where its shares closed on Friday.

According to Reuters, Energy Transfer Equity LP, a portfolio company that owns energy assets, is the unnamed bidder referred to in Williams' announcement on Sunday.

Williams Company gathers, processes and transfers natural gas and has been headquartered in Tulsa for nearly a century. It has been publicly traded since 1957. In recent years, Williams diversified its interests into telecommunications by running fiber optic cables through decommissioned pipelines.

According to the Tulsa Chamber, Williams employs more than a thousand people at its headquarters in the Williams Center downtown.

Williams president Alan Armstrong says the board of directors still will consider strategic alternatives which could include a merger or sale or continuing as is.

The company said that the offer was contingent on termination of Williams' pending acquisition of Williams Partners. The company announced this spring it planned to absorb Williams Partners for more than $13 billion.

"In light of the unsolicited proposal, our board believes it is in the best interest of shareholders to conduct a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives," Armstrong said in a statement.

Williams has retained Barclays and Lazard to assist with the strategic review.