Wil­liams re­jects ETE bid, con­sid­ers pos­si­ble sale of com­pany

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The Wil­liams Cos. re­jected a US$ 48 bil­lion buy­out of­fer from Energy Trans­fer Eq­uity, but said that it may still put the nat­u­ral- gas pipeline com­pany up for sale.

Its stock jumped 26 per­cent to US$ 60.86 on Mon­day. The stock has slumped over the last year but reached an all- time high of US$ 61.38 dur­ing the day.

Wil­liams said ETE’s bid sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­val­ues the busi­ness, but that it was ex­plor­ing other strate­gic op­tions.

ETE con­firmed Mon­day that it had of­fered US$ 64 per share, a 32 per­cent pre­mium to Wil­liams’ clos­ing price Fri­day. It put the deal’s to­tal value at US$ 53.1 bil­lion, in­clud­ing debt and other li­a­bil­i­ties.

Energy Trans­fer Eq­uity LP, of Dal­las, says it’s made mul­ti­ple at­tempts over the last six months to ne­go­ti­ate with Wil­liams’ se­nior man­age­ment.

Energy ex­perts have been pre­dict­ing more con­sol­i­da­tion in the energy trans­porta­tion sec­tor, es­pe­cially in nat­u­ral gas given the huge re­serves only re­cently un­locked by new drilling meth­ods.

The deal would give ETE ac­cess to Wil­liams’ as­sets in the North­east. Most of ETE’s oper­a­tions are in the Mid­west and South.

Wil­liams, based in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, re­cently an­nounced plans to ac­quire the re­main­ing stake of Wil­liams Part­ners LP that it doesn’t al­ready own. ETE’s of­fer was con­tin­gent on Wil­liams end­ing its plans to ac­quire Wil­liams Part­ners.

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