Activists raise stake in Williams Cos., hire an adviser

|About: Williams Companies Inc (WMB)|By:, SA News Editor

The two activist hedge funds looking to spark change at Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ) disclose that they have raised their collective stake in the gas pipeline operator to just under 10%, up from an initial 5.3%, and have hired an investment banker.

Since going public with their stake in December, the hedge funds - Corvex Management and Soroban Capital - have said they want WMB to consider pursuing more mergers, and suggested they are seeking seats on the board.

Nearly all of the hedge funds' holdings - ~$2.5B, 8.8% of the company - are in actual shares, so the firms can say they have much more money at stake than if their position was composed largely of derivatives.