ETE says to proceed with Williams offer despite rejection

Wed Jul 8, 2015 7:23am EDT
 
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July 8 (Reuters) - Pipeline company Energy Transfer Equity LP said it planned to proceed with its proposal to buy rival Williams Companies Inc despite being rebuffed, indicating it may go hostile with the offer.

Energy Transfer offered $48 billion in stock in June but Williams rejected the proposal, saying it was too low. The all-stock offer is now worth $44.6 billion as Energy Transfer's shares have fallen since then.

Energy Transfer said on Tuesday it would take any steps necessary to acquire the natural gas pipeline company, including soliciting against Williams' plan to buy its unit Williams Partners LP.

Williams said last month it would explore a range of strategic alternatives and retained Barclays and Lazard as advisors.

"Despite comments made by Williams management ... ETE continues to be open to engaging in the strategic alternatives process announced by Williams, but only if it is fair and evenhanded ...," Energy Transfer said in a statement. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)