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Energy Transfer (ETE) Gets Permission to Exit Williams Deal

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eastunder Member Level  Monday, 06/27/16 12:39:08 PM
Re: eastunder post# 187
Post # of 226 
Energy Transfer (ETE) Gets Permission to Exit Williams Deal

Zacks
By Zacks Equity Research
2 hours ago

Texas pipeline company Energy Transfer Equity L.P. ETE is no longer bound by its agreement to buy rival natural gas pipeline company Williams Companies, Inc. WMB, according to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Delaware.

Notably, the ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Williams to hold Energy Transfer Equity to the deal. In May, Williams took the legal step when Energy Transfer Equity expressed concerns over the merger citing that the deal had not secured the necessary legal opinion to make it tax-free for shareholders. This marked the third separate lawsuit filed by the company over the span of six weeks. Per Williams, Energy Transfer Equity was using the tax opinion as a ruse to miss the merger deadline of Jun 28, and was deliberately trying to disorganize the deal.

However, much to the dismay of Williams, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Energy Transfer Equity. The court concluded that Energy Transfer Equity had not breached the merger agreement when in March it reported a tax problem that would prevent the deal from closing on the scheduled date.

Last September, Energy Transfer Equity had valued its acquisition agreement with Williams at $33 billion and had agreed to pay $6 billion in cash to Williams as part of the cash-and-stock acquisition. However, the deal became less attractive due to a sharp decline in oil prices later. The cash payment of $6 billion made this pending merger a nightmare for Energy Transfer Equity given that borrowing this amount in a down market exposed the company to the risk of being overleveraged


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