The Williams Cos. is rejecting a $48 billion buyout offer from Energy Transfer Equity, but may still be looking to put the natural-gas pipeline company up for sale.
Its stock jumped 26 percent in premarket trading.
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Williams said ETE's bid is significantly undervalued, but that it was exploring other strategic options.
ETE confirmed Monday that it had offered $64 per share, a 32 percent premium to the Williams's closing price Friday. It put the deal's total value at $53.1 billion, including debt and other liabilities.
Transfer Equity LP, of Dallas, says it's made multiple attempts over the last six months to negotiate with Williams' senior management.
Williams, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, recently announced plans to acquire the remaining stake of Williams Partners LP that it doesn't already own.