Williams Sues to Maintain Sale to Energy Transfer Equity

May 2016, Vol. 243, No. 5

DALLAS (AP) — Williams Cos. has gone to court to pressure rival pipeline company Energy Transfer Equity to go through with the planned $32.6 billion purchase of Williams.

In a lawsuit filed in state court in Delaware, Williams suggested that Energy Transfer is trying to get out of the deal.

Energy Transfer’s spokeswoman did not immediately return phone and email messages on Saturday.

The companies announced in September that Dallas-based Energy Transfer agreed to buy Williams, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Williams shareholders could be paid in Energy Transfer stock, cash, or a combination. Williams shareholders would also get a special dividend of 10 cents per share just before the sale closes.

The companies said last year that the deal was expected to close before March 31. Energy Transfer can terminate the agreement if it doesn’t close by June 28.

Williams announced late Friday that it had filed a lawsuit over the deal in the Delaware Court of Chancery. It asked the court to block Energy Transfer from abandoning the deal either for missing the June deadline or if its outside lawyers aren’t satisfied that the transaction would be tax-free for Williams shareholders.

Williams said in the lawsuit that Energy Transfer has engaged in “a pattern of delay and obstruction” to sink the sale.

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