Filed By Energy Transfer Corp LP
pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act of 1933
and deemed filed pursuant to Rule 14a-12
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Subject Company: The Williams Companies, Inc.
Commission File No.: 001-04174
Date: May 25, 2016
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. issued the following press release on May 25, 2016:
SEC DECLARES REGISTRATION STATEMENT ON FORM S-4 EFFECTIVE IN PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF WILLIAMS BY ENERGY TRANSFER
Williams Schedules June 27, 2016 Special Meeting for Stockholders to Vote on Pending Transaction
Merger Also Subject to Other Closing Conditions
DALLAS, Okla. May 25, 2016 Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE) (ETE or the Partnership) today announced that, in connection with ETEs pending acquisition of The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE: WMB) (Williams), the registration statement of Energy Transfer Corp LP (ETC) on Form S-4 has been declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Williams separately today announced that it has scheduled a special meeting of stockholders for Williams stockholders to vote on the transaction with ETE. The special meeting of stockholders will be held on June 27, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. (Central Daylight Time) at the Williams Resource Center Theater, One Williams Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Williams stockholders of record as of the close of business on May 19, 2016 are entitled to vote at the meeting.
The registration statement of ETC containing the proxy statement/prospectus is available through the SECs website at www.sec.gov, via Williams IR website at http://investor.williams.com/, or via ETEs IR website at www.energytransfer.com. Williams announced that it expects to begin mailing the proxy statement/prospectus to stockholders today. Investors holding shares in brokerage accounts should receive proxy statements/prospectuses from their broker. The proxy statement/prospectus provides important information about the proposed transaction, as well as voting instructions.
In addition to the receipt of Williams stockholder approval, the transaction remains subject to a number of closing conditions, including the receipt by ETC and Williams of a tax opinion from Latham & Watkins LLP (Latham) that the contribution of Williams assets by ETC to ETE should qualify as an exchange to which Section 721(a) of the Internal Revenue Code applies. Latham has advised ETE that it would not be able to deliver this tax opinion were the opinion requested as of the date of the proxy statement/prospectus. ETE believes that there is a substantial risk that the closing condition relating to this tax opinion will not be met, and that it is unlikely that ETC would waive the closing condition. Williams believes that the contribution should qualify as an exchange to which Section 721(a) of the Internal Revenue Code applies, and would be willing to waive the condition to closing that Williams receive this tax opinion. Williams has filed a lawsuit against ETE in the Delaware Court of Chancery seeking, among other remedies, a declaratory judgment and injunction preventing ETE from terminating or otherwise avoiding its obligations under the merger agreement due to any failure of Latham to deliver the 721 tax opinion to ETC and Williams. ETE has filed its affirmative defenses and counterclaim and seeks, among other things, a declaratory judgment that, in the event Latham fails to deliver the 721 tax opinion prior to the outside date of June 28, 2016 set forth in the merger agreement, ETE will be entitled to terminate the merger agreement without liability due to the failure of a closing condition. The parties have agreed to expedited proceedings, with a trial scheduled to be held June 20 and June 21, 2016. Williams stockholders are encouraged to read the proxy statement/prospectus in its entirety, including the section entitled Recent Developments, for additional information regarding the foregoing.
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE:ETE) is a master limited partnership that owns the general partner and 100% of the incentive distribution rights (IDRs) of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE: ETP) and Sunoco LP (NYSE: SUN). ETE also owns approximately 2.6 million ETP common units and approximately 81.0 million ETP Class H Units, which track 90% of the underlying economics of the general partner interest and IDRs of Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL). On a consolidated basis, ETEs family of companies owns and operates approximately 71,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, refined products, and crude oil pipelines. For more information, visit the Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. website at www.energytransfer.com.
This communication may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the merger of the Partnership and Williams, the expected future performance of the combined company (including expected results of operations and financial guidance), and the combined companys future financial condition, operating results, strategy and plans. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of the words anticipates, expects, intends, plans, should, could, would, may, will, believes, estimates, potential, target, opportunity, designed, create, predict, project, seek, ongoing, increases or continue and variations or similar expressions. These statements are based upon the current expectations and beliefs of management and are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties that change over time and could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, assumptions, risks and uncertainties discussed in the Registration Statement on Form S-4, filed with the SEC on November 24, 2015, as amended on January 12, 2016, on March 7, 2016, on March 23, 2016, on April 18, 2016, on May 4, 2016 (two amendments), on May 16, 2016 and on May 24, 2016 (the Form S-4) and in the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for each of the Partnership, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (ETP), Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (SXL), Sunoco LP (SUN), Williams and Williams Partners LP (WPZ) filed with the SEC and assumptions, risks and uncertainties relating to the proposed transaction, as detailed from time to time in the Form S-4 and in the Partnerships, ETPs, SXLs, SUNs, Williams and WPZs filings with the SEC, which factors are incorporated herein by reference. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make in this communication are set forth in the Form S-4 and in other reports or documents that the Partnership, ETP, SXL, SUN, Williams and WPZ file from time to time with the SEC include, but are not limited to: (1) the ultimate outcome of any business combination transaction between the Partnership, Energy Transfer Corp, LP (ETC) and Williams; (2) the ultimate outcome and results of integrating the operations of the Partnership and Williams, the ultimate outcome of the Partnerships operating strategy applied to Williams and the ultimate ability to realize cost savings and synergies; (3) the effects of the business combination transaction of the Partnership, ETC and Williams, including the combined companys future financial condition, operating results, strategy and plans; (4) the ability to obtain required regulatory approvals and meet other closing conditions to the transaction, including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and Williams stockholder approval, on a timely basis or at all; (5) the reaction of the companies stockholders, customers, employees and counterparties to the proposed transaction; (6) diversion of management time on transaction-related issues; (7) unpredictable economic conditions in the United States and other markets, including fluctuations in the market price of the Partnerships common units and ETC common shares; (8) the ability to obtain the intended tax treatment in connection with the issuance of ETC common shares to Williams stockholders; (9) the ability to maintain the Partnerships, ETPs, SXLs, SUNs, Williams and WPZs current credit ratings; and (10) the outcome and impact of the lawsuits filed by Williams against the Partnership and its management. All forward-looking statements attributable to the Partnership or any person acting on the Partnerships behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Neither the Partnership nor Williams undertakes any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this communication or to reflect actual outcomes.
This communication does not constitute an offer to buy or solicitation of an offer to sell any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This communication relates to a proposed business combination between the Partnership and Williams. In furtherance of the proposed business combination and subject to future developments, the Partnership, ETC and Williams have filed a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC and a proxy statement/prospectus of WMB and other documents related to the proposed business combination. This communication is not a substitute for any proxy statement, registration statement, prospectus or other document the Partnership, ETC or Williams may file with the SEC in connection with the proposed business combination. The registration statement of ETC was declared effective by the SEC on May 25, 2016. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF THE PARTNERSHIP AND WILLIAMS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN OR MAY BE FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY AS THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED BUSINESS COMBINATION. Definitive proxy statement(s) will be mailed to stockholders of Williams. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of these documents and other documents filed with the SEC by the Partnership, ETC and Williams through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed by the Partnership and ETC with the SEC will be available free of charge on the Partnerships website at www.energytransfer.com or by contacting Investor Relations at 214-981-0700 and copies of the documents filed by Williams with the SEC will be available on Williams website at investor.williams.com.
The Partnership and its directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding the directors and officers of the Partnerships general partner is contained in the Partnerships Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 29, 2016 (as it may be amended from time to time). Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is included in the proxy statement / prospectus and other relevant documents filed with the SEC. Investors should read the proxy statement / prospectus carefully before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from the Partnership using the sources indicated above.
Williams and its directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding the directors and officers of Williams is contained in Williams Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 26, 2016 (as it may be amended from time to time). Additional information regarding the interests of such potential participants is included in the proxy statement / prospectus and other relevant documents filed with the SEC. Investors should read the proxy statement / prospectus carefully before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from Williams using the sources indicated above.
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P.
Brent Ratliff, 214-981-0795
Lyndsay Hannah, 214-840-5477
Granado Communications Group
Vicki Granado, 214-599-8785
Steve Lipin, 212-333-3810
Mark Palmer, 214-254-3790