Bernstein Liebhard LLP Announces That A Suit Has Been Filed Against Williams Partners L.P.

March 10, 2016

Bernstein Liebhard LLP today announced that a securities class action has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on behalf of a class (the “Class”) consisting of all persons or entities who purchased common shares of Williams Partners L.P. (“Williams Partners” or the “Company”) (NYSE:WPZ) from May 13, 2015 through June 19, 2015 (the “Class Period”).  The complaint charges Williams Partners and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Williams Partners L.P. is a limited partnership providing infrastructure for North American natural gas and natural gas products.  Williams Partners is controlled by Williams Companies, Inc. (“Williams Companies”) through its general partner Williams Partners GP.  All of Williams Companies’ senior officers are also senior officers of Williams Partners GP and the two entities also share six common directors.

On May 13, 2015, Williams Partners and Williams Companies announced that Williams Companies would acquire all publicly held common shares of Williams Partners.  On the news of the proposed merger, Williams Partners shares rose more than 22%.

However, the investing public was unaware that Williams Companies’ management was also in discussions with Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (“ETE”) regarding a proposal by the firm to acquire Williams Companies. This arrangement would require Williams Companies to terminate its merger with Williams Partners.

On June 22, 2015, ETE announced the specifics of its discussions with Williams Companies, including the merger-termination requirement.  On this news, Williams Partners stock fell $4.04, or 7.6%, to close at $49.10 on June 22, 2015.

The Complaint alleges that Williams Partners made materially false and misleading statements to investors and/or failed to disclose that (i) Williams Companies was considering alternate strategic transactions, specifically ETE’s proposal to acquire the Williams Companies, that could prevent Williams Companies from completing the Williams Partners and Williams Companies merger; and (ii) as a result, the Company’s common shares traded at an artificially inflated level throughout the Class Period.

Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on behalf of all Class members who invested in Williams Partners common stock during the Class Period.  If you invested in Williams Partners securities as described above, and lost money on the transactions, you may wish to join in this action to serve as lead plaintiff.  In order to do so, you must meet certain requirements set forth in the applicable law and file appropriate papers no later than May 6, 2016.

A “lead plaintiff” is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class.  Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as lead plaintiff.  Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.  You may retain Bernstein Liebhard LLP, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

If you are interested in discussing your rights as a Williams Partners investor and/or have information relating to the matter, please contact Joseph R. Seidman, Jr. at (877) 779-1414 or seidman@bernlieb.com.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients.  The National Law Journal has recognized Bernstein Liebhard for twelve consecutive years as one of the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country.

You can obtain a copy of the complaint from the clerk of the court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.