Glass Lewis backs Magellan Midstream’s sale to ONEOK

(Reuters) – Independent proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co has recommended Magellan Midstream Partners’ unitholders to vote in favor of the pipeline operator’s $18.8 billion planned sale to ONEOK.

“We are inclined to take the view that the proposed merger would put the combined company in a better position, compared to Magellan on a standalone basis,” Glass Lewis said in a statement on Wednesday.

The voting on the deal is scheduled to take place on Sept. 21.

Energy Income Partners, the fourth-largest unitholder in Magellan with a 3.1% stake, has said it intends to vote against the proposed deal, concerned about the loss of tax benefits.

Magellan is a master limited partnership (MLP), a publicly traded corporate structure that enjoys the benefits of paying no tax at the company level.

Investors in MLPs, known as unitholders, are also shielded from ongoing taxes, but when either the units or the whole company are sold the accumulated taxes become due for payment.

(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)