your answers border a rookie's philosophy. This board has been divided since the hedge fund guys pushed to get WMB to do something and has been NOTHING but contentious since. The "untied" front kept ETE from being able to get damages from WMB...nothing more... The vote HAD to occur. fast forward to the resignation... as Harehau put it, we are ALL glad to see them depart. The irresponsible behaviors of many hedge funds couldn't be on display more than this deal. Of course Ackman is tarnished w/ his Valeant #$%$ but that's for a different board. The delayed opening will cause some novices to panic I believe but this company will get back to rebuilding,rebranding and I also believe bring in some past representatives to fill the gaps. Steve Malcolm would be great but don't know if he wants to step back into the light. He is enjoying his peace and quiet... one final point, if you read the proxy statement and listened to the clearly split board, this merger was NEVER unanimous...In fact, it was voted DOWN the first time...the Hedge funds are losers thus far with their investment and the pressure on them to perform is the ONLY thing that they are hired to do in the first place. So, given Oil/gas are recovering (NGL's in particular) these guys will have to sit on their investment until Armstrong and co. get the ball rolling or continue to get fired for underperformance. It's clear to me that this was the last and final shoe to drop in this saga. A company is only as good as its leadership and clearly we are looking for more supportive leaders for the longer term.
Of course, I think the wounds are so deep that another player could just come in and finish off WMB with a new offer right under Kelcy's nose and take the litigation gamble as payback too
Absolutely correct. Back in Feb I was speaking with WMB counsel at a private function. Many long term institutional investors present. They did NOT want the cash because of the leverage it implied. However, they all said it was still too complicated and that the best thing is that both companies go their own seperate ways.Hence the significant "non-vote"...
I am of the belief that Armstrong did the best he could with an inefficient board and after 4 mos of wasting time will get back to the fundamentals. RId themselves of the hedge fund board representations unless they play ball and I agree on a replacement for the Chairman of the board. WMB with payout is currently cash flow neutral as CHK does improve its own prospects. I believe a reduced WMB payout enables the company to pay down leverage quicker and focus on its brand. I have been buying throughout the last quarter BOTH WMB and WPZ. yield in WPZ safe, WMB could see a 50% div.reduction. doing so reduces cash outflow by 1b... I believe this alone give the stock at least mid 30's value. I continue to buy all i can. WPZ as well.. ETE has cooked its own goose and will have damages to pay I believe. SO we should get relief from the courts as well...albeit small better than zero...Of course WMB going to be sued as well but at the end of the day, WMB in a great position to rebuild itself. Just one problem as I see it, WMB vulnerable AGAIN to being taken out. Still see mid 30's in short order
Inducing WMB to abandon the WPZ takeout caused a 400mm+ expense. I do believe in the merger agreement they not just get back that capital but more. WMB is exposed to fixing its balance sheet no question. However, Nat Gas has moved, NGL's are in export demand and the dearth of NAt GAs drilling is enabling WMB to heal quicker than some might think. Your effort and insight on this board is much appreciated..I see a vulnerable company still in WMB
The street has been telling both companies a merger withOUT cash is the answer. I believe WMB sues for damages and the way ETE pays for the damages is thru an amended NEW all stock offer. Otherwise, ETE pays damages to WMB and both companies move on down the road. Consolidation needs to happen in this industry with oil at these low levels. I also think ETE cannot afford to let WMB slip away because 2 other suitors will scoop up WMB at this low valuation. or attempt to do so.
Balance sheet is stretched yes and certainly WMB will sell down assets to reduce its leverage. they wouldve started 9 mos ago after consolidating WPZ except for ETE interference.