ETE Backs Out of Messy Merger With Williams Companies


The proposed merger between Williams Cos. and Energy Transfer Equity won’t happen.

The announcement came shortly after midnight and on the last day that Energy Transfer Equity of Dallas had under an agreement to merge with Tulsa-based Williams Cos…’s backed out!

ETE explained it had the right to terminate the merger because of a Delaware Judge’s ruling made last Friday “in the event ETE’s counsel Latham & Watkins LLP were unable to deliver a required tax opinion prior to the June 28, 2016, outside date in the merger agreement.”

ETE, a firm that had become cash-strapped since the merger agreement was announced last fall said its counsel could not provide the opinion.

“ETE subsequently provided written notice terminating the merger agreement due to failure of conditions under the merger agreement, including Latham’s inability to deliver the required tax opinion, as well as the other bases detailed in ETE’s filings in the Delaware lawsuit.”

It was a brief announcement that followed Monday’s vote by Williams shareholders to continue with the merger that included a big cash offer. It also brought an end to what had become a contentious relationship between the two companies with Williams filing suits and ETE filing countersuits.

ETE had second thoughts about the deal last fall as oil prices started falling and made attempts to reconsider the offer.

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