Enterprise Products Partners made all-stock bid for rival company
By Mike Stone and Michael Erman
NEW YORK, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners on Thursday withdrew its takeover bid for rival Williams Cos Inc, saying that Williams’ lack of engagement left it with “no actionable path forward.”
The withdrawal “surprised” Williams which said in a statement later Thursday evening that it had a “series of exchanges” with Enterprise and was in the midst of reviewing the offer alongside advisors.
Enterprise had made a second, all-stock offer for Williams in late August, topping its previous bid from earlier in the summer, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The source said Williams’ full board had not yet convened to consider the newest offer. Williams had appointed three new board members this month. The source asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential.
Enterprise said in its statement that movements in its stock price as well as questions from its investors drove it to make the withdrawal public.
“While we are disappointed, we will maintain our financial discipline as we pursue future growth opportunities for the partnership,” Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Jim Teague said in a statement.
Enterprise Product Partners’ initial approach came after peer Energy Transfer Equity LP walked away from an agreed-upon takeover of Williams in June. Nearly half of Williams’ board resigned following a failed attempt to oust the company’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Armstrong.
Activist investor Corvex Management LP, run by Carl Icahn protege Keith Meister, has said that Williams’ board and management is entrenched and has not served shareholders well, citing the decision not to discuss a deal with Enterprise. He nominated a slate of directors last month to replace all of Williams’ board.
Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams shares closed up 81 cents at $31.15 on the New York Stock Exchange. They fell around 2.5 percent in after hours trading.
Enterprise units were up 14 cents at $27.25 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. They were up around 1.7 percent after the bell.
(Reporting by Michael Erman and Mike Stone in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell and David Gregorio)