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Williams files new lawsuit to bind Energy Transfer to original merger agreement

HOUSTON, May 16, 2016 (PCW) -– Late Friday, Williams filed a new lawsuit against its potential buyer Energy Transfer Equity in a bid to hold the latter company to the original terms of agreement.

Over the weekend, Energy Transfer countered with a press release of its own, reiterating the deal could not be closed until their lawyers had turned in their opinion on a variety of tax issues.

Williams’ lawsuit Friday asked the Delaware Court of Chancery to prevent ETE from terminating the merger should the deal fail to close by the initially agreed date of June 28 or if ETE’s lawyers, Latham & Watkins, fail to provide their opinion on the various tax issues.

“Williams alleges that ETE has breached the merger agreement through a pattern of delay and obstruction designed to allow ETE to avoid its contractual commitments,” Williams said late Friday. ETE over the weekend shot back, arguing it was Williams that was delaying the consummation of the deal that could ultimately result in it falling apart.

“We believe Williams’ latest lawsuit is an attempt to gain undue leverage in and undermine future discussions regarding the pending merger and will only result in further delay,” ETE said.

Analysts, meanwhile, chimed in early Monday saying the deal was essentially dead in the water.

“No change to our belief that this deal is too far gone to salvage,” Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. said Monday.

Last September, ETE said it would acquire Williams for $37.7 billion. -- Samantha Hartke

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