Houston-based Southern Union Co. was the center of a fierce bidding war this summer, which Energy Transfer Equity appears to have won. But rival suitor Williams Co. made a last-minute bid for some of Southern Union’s assets, a bid that appears to have failed, according to a filing made Tuesday. (see it below)
According to a Form S-4/A filed by Energy Transfer outlining to Southern Union shareholders its final $44.25 per share offer, on September 2 ETE Chairman Kelcy Warren received an e-mail from Williams CEO Alan Armstrong. In the e-mail Armstrong asked Warren to waive part of its merger agreement with Southern Union so as to allow Williams to try to negotiate the purchase of a few particular assets. This included Citrus Corp., Panhandle, Trunkline, Trunkline LNG and the Sea Robin pipeline system.
Such a deal would likely be beneficial to all the parties, it was decided, since “such communications might result in enhanced value for the shareholders of Southern Union,” according to the filings. So on September 7 Energy Transfer, Southern Union and Williams entered into an agreement and waiver to allow the discussions.
The parties exchanged confidential information, according to the filing, but after several weeks “ETE and Williams were unable to reach an agreement regarding terms of the Potential Acquisitions.”
“Accordingly, on October 9, 2011, ETE provided Williams and Southern Union with written notice of its termination of the Waiver Agreement, effective as of 6:00 p.m. C.D.T. on October 10, 2011,” according to the filing.
Is this the end of the story? Is Williams really done trying to go after SUG assets?