Energy Transfer Equity, Williams to merge in $37.7 billion deal

Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE), Dallas, and Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, have agreed to merge in a deal valued at $37.7 billion, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Williams previously rejected an unsolicited all-equity acquisition proposal by ETE valued at $53.1 billion (OGJ Online, Sept. 28, 2015).

ETE says the merger will create the third largest energy franchise in North America and one of the five largest global energy companies.

“As a combined company, we will have enhanced prospects for growth, be better able to connect our customers to more diverse markets, and have more stability in an environment of low commodity prices,” said Alan Armstrong, Williams president and chief executive officer. “Importantly, Williams Partners will retain its current name and remain a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.”

Under the deal’s terms, ETE affiliate Energy Transfer Corp. LP will acquire Williams at an implied current price of $43.50/Williams share. The companies believe that all stakeholders will benefit from the cash flow diversification associated with ownership in three large investment grade master limited partnerships, including Energy Transfer Partners LP and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP.

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