NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Williams Companies (WMB) - Get Report are down by 1.23% to $21.68 late Tuesday afternoon, after it was announced that shareholders will vote on the company's $20 billion merger with Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) on June 27, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
As this date looms, the two energy firms are scheduled to appear in court on June 20 to fight over tax issues that threaten to cancel the merger, Barron's reports.
The deal must close by June 28 or it will be terminated. Williams has accused its acquirer, Energy Transfer, of stalling, Barron's says.
The merger became a source of controversy not long after it was announced last September, casting doubt on whether it would actually happen.
Initially, Energy Transfer expected to gain synergistic savings of more than $2 billion from its acquisition after making estimated investments of $5 billion into the integration process. External factors, such as the earlier year's crash in oil prices, have now drastically reduced that amount to $170 million.
Strapped in debt, Energy Transfer also tried proposing a bargain to pare its debt through the issuance of convertible preferred units to some of its investors, through a private offering. In exchange for the issued units, Energy Transfer shareholders would forgo their distributions for up to nine quarters.
The bargain resulted in a lawsuit from Williams who argued Energy Transfer displayed preferential treatment by offering the deal to only its own shareholders.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings rated Williams as a "sell" with a score of D+.
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon.
Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
This is driven by several weaknesses, which TheStreet Ratings believes should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks that are covered.
The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WMB