Corvex & Soroban Expect to Increase Williams Companies Stake (13D Filing) ~ market folly

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Corvex & Soroban Expect to Increase Williams Companies Stake (13D Filing)

Keith Meister's activist hedge fund firm Corvex Management and Eric Mandelblatt's Soroban Capital have jointly filed an amended 13D with the SEC regarding their position in Williams Companies (WMB). 

Corvex/Soroban To Increase Williams Companies Stake

The filing details that the Hart Scott Rodino waiting period has expired and as such, "Corvex intend to promptly exercise their deeply in-the-money physically settled call options and Corvex and Soroban also expect to acquire additional shares, further increasing their beneficial ownership stake."

Per the 13D, the hedge funds have disclosed a 7.14% ownership stake in WMB with exposure to over 48.8 million shares.

That figure doesn't include their cash-settled swaps and options regarding an additional 19.2 million shares, so their aggregate exposure to the name can rise as high as 9.96% (with 68 million shares). And now we get word that they're likely to buy more.

Seeking Board Seats As Well

The filing indicates that the hedge funds want Mandelblatt and Meister to join the company's board, but they haven't been able to come to an agreement with the company.

We've previously posted about their Williams Companies stake earlier this year.

Per Google Finance, Williams Companies is "an energy infrastructure company focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), and olefins. Its operations span from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian oil sands. It operates in three segments: Williams Partners, Midstream Canada & Olefins and Other. Its interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream interests are held through its investment in Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ). It owns the general-partner interest and a 70% limited-partner interest in WPZ. Williams also owns a Canadian midstream and domestic olefins production business, which processes oil sands off-gas and produces olefins for petrochemical feedstocks." 

For more additional recent portfolio activity from Corvex, click here.

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