Enterprise Products Partners LP has withdrawn its bid for rival pipeline giant The Williams Companies Incorporated, saying there is “no actionable path going forward” as a result of rumors swirling around the takeover/merger talks and a “lack of engagement by Williams.”


But Williams said Friday it was surprised by the announcement, adding it was “engaged in the process of carefully reviewing the most recent indication of interest from Enterprise.”


The announcement marks the latest twist in the summer drama surrounding the future of Williams. On June 29, Energy Transfer Equity LP, which is based in Dallas, Texas, terminated its $20 billion merger agreement with Williams, citing failure to finalize a required tax opinion by an agreed-upon deadline. On the following day, six of Williams’ 13 directors resigned. According to Reuters, the directors had tried to oust Alan Armstrong, the chief executive officer of Williams, who opposed the deal with Energy Transfer Equity.


According to Bloomberg, Williams is still facing a proxy fight with one of its largest investors. Williams appointed three new directors on August 29 in an effort to derail support for a new slate of directors proposed by activist investor Keith Meister of Corvex Management LP. Meister was one of the Williams directors who resigned following the failed attempt to oust Armstrong.


In its announcement on Thursday, Enterprise Products Partners said it generally doesn’t comment on market rumors, adding: “However, due to recent news leaks, movements in the price of the partnership’s common units as well as questions from investors, Enterprise announced that it has withdrawn its indication of interest in The Williams Companies regarding the possible combination of Enterprise and Williams.”


Williams, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, responded that its board of directors “remains open to considering any potential strategic alternative that would maximize value for stockholders.


Williams this week announced its intention to either sell its olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana or enter it into a long-term tolling arrangement as the company sharpens its focus on its natural gas businesses. For more information, see September 7, 2016, article - Williams Partners: Sale of Geismar Olefins Plant Part of Sharper Focus on Natural Gas Business.


Industrial Info is tracking 159 active Williams Companies projects worth $5.32 billion, including a proposed $1.3 billion propane dehydrogenation plant at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.


Industrial Info is also tracking 4,600 active oil & gas pipeline projects valued at $519.29 billion.


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