Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Williams Stock Soars after Takeover Offer

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Williams Stock Soars after Takeover Offer

Article excerpt

TULSA - The Williams Cos. rejected a $48 billion buyout offer from a Dallas firm, but the Tulsa-based natural-gas pipeline company may still put itself up for sale. Energy Transfer Equity offered a pure-equity merger, offering a 32-percent premium over Friday's closing price for Williams' stock, according to a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Williams' stock soared during Monday's trading, rising almost 26 percent. The stock, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMB, closed trading at $60.86, up $12.52, or 25.9 percent, from Friday's close of $48.34.

Williams' board may reconsider the offer based on the large premium, Oklahoma State University energy finance professor Betty Simkins said.

Energy Transfer Equity offered $64 per share for Williams. The total deal is valued at $53.1 billion, including debt and other liabilities, according to an Energy Transfer SEC filing. The deal would give Energy Transfer access to Williams' assets in the northeastern U.S.

However, Energy Transfer's offer was contingent upon Williams ending its plan to acquire Williams Partners LP, a master limited partnership in which The Williams Cos. has a majority stake. Williams announced Monday it would consider strategic alternatives, such as keeping Williams Partners as a stand-alone company.

Williams announced on May 13 it planned to acquire the rest of Williams Partners, or WPZ. As Williams conducts its strategic review, it will continue to work toward completing the acquisition of Williams Partners, according to a Monday SEC filing.

As previously announced on May 13, Williams and WPZ have signed a definitive agreement under which Williams will acquire all of the public outstanding common units of WPZ in an all stock-for-unit transaction at a 1.115 ratio of Williams common shares per unit of WPZ. During its strategic review process, Williams will continue to work towards the completion of the WPZ transaction.

The Dallas-based equity firm made multiple attempts over the last six months to negotiate with Williams' senior management, according to Energy Transfer's SEC filing. …

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