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Williams and Energy Transfer to Merge


barrons articleThe following is an excerpt from Amey Stone | September 28, 2015 | Barrons.com |

The Williams Companies (WMB) announced it is selling itself to Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) in a deal valued at $37.7 billion. ETE is paying about $43.50 a share for Williams.

Both boards approved the transaction after Williams abandoned its plan to fold in its master limited partnership, Williams Partners (WPZ). Williams agreed to pay a termination fee of $428 million to Williams Partners, according to a separate release.

Even without WPZ, the combination of Williams and Energy Transfer will create the third largest energy company in North America and one of the five largest energy companies in the world, the companies say. Including WPZ would have made the deal even bigger and potentially harder to complete.

In June, Energy Transfer Equity made a $48 billion all-stock bid for Williams. Williams rejected the offer, partly because that deal was contingent on Williams dropping its plan to fold in Williams Partners. Williams said then that it would explore alternatives as part of a strategic review, effectively launching a bidding war in which ETE emerged the victor on Monday.

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