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Monday, July 6, 2015

Warren Not Blinking in Takeover Bid as Williams Partners Reaches Out For Other Buyers

Energy Transfer would become
the largest pipeline company in the
world if deal with Williams happens
From the Washington Post:
Williams wants potential suitors to sign what’s known as a “standstill” clause in a confidentiality agreement that would block them from buying shares, nominating directors and lobbying investors, one person said. Warren, chief executive officer of Energy Transfer Equity LP, wants to keep those options open as he presses ahead with his offer of $64 a share, the people said. 
Lawyers for Energy Transfer and Williams have been haggling over the issue this week, and as of Thursday were negotiating a “fall away” provision that would nix the standstill if certain conditions were met, they said. If they can’t come to an agreement by early next week, Warren is preparing to sit out of the sale process, they said. 
Six Months 
The back-and-forth is the latest maneuvering in a six-month takeover battle that went public two weeks ago, when Williams said it hired banks to “explore a range of strategic alternatives” after getting an unsolicited offer it deemed insufficient from an unidentified suitor. Energy Transfer identified itself as the bidder the next day. 
Williams has reached out to more than 15 potential buyers since then, including other pipeline operators, integrated oil companies and utilities, according to the people familiar with the situation. At least two other suitors have signed confidentiality agreements, and Energy Transfer is the only party balking at the standstill, the people said.
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