Energy Transfer Said Close to Winning Deal for Williams

Updated on
  • Williams spurned Energy Transfer's $48 billion offer in June
  • Talks are advanced, deal could be announced in 7 to 10 days

After a nine-month battle that became public this summer, Energy Transfer Equity LP is close to winning its takeover fight for rival pipeline operator Williams Cos., people with knowledge of the matter said.

The companies are in advanced talks about a deal that could be announced in the next week and a half, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The transaction hasn’t been finalized and talks could still fall through, the people said.

A deal between Energy Transfer and Williams would create the world’s largest operator of infrastructure for moving and processing oil and gas. It would also end a battle that intensified in June when Williams rejected Energy Transfer’s unsolicited bid and hired banks to explore a sale.

Williams rose 5.3 percent to close at $45.86 in New York, after touching
$46.44, the biggest jump since the offer was disclosed. Energy Transfer climbed 1.7 percent to $25.74.

Energy Transfer offered to buy Williams for $64 a share in stock, or about $48 billion. Including debt, the deal would have been valued at about $53 billion, according to an announcement at the time. It’s not clear if Energy Transfer has changed the terms of its initial proposal.

Representatives for Williams and Energy Transfer declined to comment.