William R. Vigdor

William R. Vigdor Partner, Antitrust

William (Billy) Vigdor came to Vinson & Elkins from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2003. He assists clients in identifying and managing the antitrust and national security risk of global mergers and joint ventures. 

Billy provides substantive and strategic antitrust risk assessments in a wide array of industries and transaction structures (mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures) and represents clients before the FTC, Department of Justice, and states attorneys general. He assists clients in addressing global merger control issues and in assessing risks. Billy also represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Billy represents clients in some of the most complex mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, partial ownerships, and government investigations involving price-fixing and monopolistic practices, as well as multijurisdictional merger control. He works with a wide range of clients, including hedge funds, master limited partnerships, and private equity firms.His antitrust work covers most of the economy, including energy (from well to burner tip or gas tank), petrochemicals, health care, technology, aerospace, telecommunications equipment, auto parts, retailing, food manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Billy has experience persuading agencies not to challenge mergers and not to issue second requests.

Since 1995, Billy has represented clients—buyers, sellers, and privately and government-owned—in multibillion dollar transactions before CFIUS, including companies involved in energy, technology, telecommunications, petrochemicals, satellites, real estate, and other industries. He has assisted clients in negotiating FOCI mitigation agreements with CFIUS agencies.

Experience Highlights

  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in its $1 billion transfer to the Catholic Health Initiatives, a nationally recognized healthcare system
  • Obtained Federal Trade Commission approval for the acquisition of Energy Transfer Partners LP’s (ETP) propane cylinder exchange business, Heritage Propane Express (HPX), by JP Energy Partners
  • V&E represented Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. before the FTC in its divestiture of the Rocky Mountains Pipeline System
  • Represented Eagle Rock Energy Partners in the $1.325 billion contribution of its midstream business to Regency Energy Partners 
  • Representing a Norwegian oil and gas firm in connection with its proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of a publicly traded independent E&P company; this transaction represents the seventh largest 2011 takeover announced in the oil and gas industry

Antitrust

  • Represented a global manufacturer of commodity chemicals in connection with its $6.5 billion acquisition by a competitor; V&E lawyers assisted the client in obtaining merger clearance in ten jurisdictions around the world, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union
  • Provided global merger control advice to two Fortune 200 Asian corporations in their minority investment in the creation of a $10 billion U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility
  • Oiltanking Holdings Americas in the $4.41 billion acquisition by Enterprise Products Partners of the general partner of Oiltanking Partners, and all of the common and subordinated units of Oiltanking Partners held by Oiltanking Holding Americas and a wholly owned subsidiary
  • Provided global merger control advice and assisted in the preparation of U.S. an Chinese merger control filings on behalf of the The Shaw Group Inc. in connection with its $3 billion sale to Chicago Bridge & Iron
  • Provided global merger control advice, avoided a second request, and assisted in the preparation merger control filings in Brazil and Mexico on behalf of The Shaw Group in connection with the $300 million the sale of its Energy and Chemical business to Technip
  • Represented Huntsman Corporation in connection with its $1.1 billion acquisition of the performance additives and titanium dioxide businesses of Rockwood Holdings
  • Successfully persuaded the FTC not to challenge an acquisition of gasoline and heating oil terminals from one of the Northeast’s largest independent distributers of gasoline and distillates in a non-reportable acquisition in which the FTC alleged the transaction would result in a monopoly
  • Represented a client in an approximately $1 billion acquisition of a titanium dioxide competitor; persuaded the FTC not to issue a second request
  • Represented a Middle Eastern oil company in acquiring a German chemical company in a transaction or transactions valued at approximately €700 million; competition filings were required in China, The Netherlands, Spain, and the U.S
  • Represented a health care diagnostics company in an FTC exclusive dealing investigation
  • Represented a client making a merger control filing in the People’s Republic of China in an LNG investment
  • Assisted a client in persuading the DOJ that the client was a suitable buyer to acquire power generating assets from parties to resolve allegations that the merger of two power generators was an unlawful merger
  • Assisted a client in persuading the FTC that the client was a suitable buyer to acquire funeral homes, cemeteries, and other associated assets from parties to resolve allegations that the merger of funeral home operators was an unlawful merger
  • Successfully represented a chemical company before the FTC, and assisted the client in obtaining antitrust approvals before the European Commission and nine other competition law agencies
  • Persuaded the DOJ not to bring an antitrust challenge to a hospital health system and its accountable care organization

Mergers - National Security (CFIUS)

  • Represented two Fortune 200 Asian corporations before CFIUS in their minority investment in the creation of a $10 billion U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility
  • Represented Devon Energy Corp.’s sale of a one-third stake in five oil and gas projects to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. in return for a $900 million upfront payment and an agreement from the state-backed Chinese company to invest a further $1.6 billion in drilling at the sites
  • Represented a U.S. manufacturer of satellites before CFIUS in its sale to a Canadian entity
  • Represented The Shaw Group before CFIUS in connection with its $3 billion sale to Chicago Bridge & Iron
  • Represented an automobile manufacturer before CFIUS in the sale of its power steering component business to a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise
  • Successfully represented a Chinese State-owned entity in acquiring a U.S. auto parts business; one of the first U.S. acquisitions by a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise to successfully obtain CFIUS approval
  • CNOOC International Limited in joint venture arrangements to develop over 600,000 acres in Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas and over 1,000,000 acres in Niobrara Shale in Colorado and Wyoming
  • Represented Crimson Exploration Inc. before CFIUS and successfully persuaded the Committee that the acquisition by American Capital Energy Corporation, a company owned by a Chinese private company, of a minority interest in Crimson did not fall within CFIUS’ jurisdiction
  • Successfully assisted a client in obtaining what the press reported as the first CFIUS approval of a transaction involving the acquisition by a state-owned entity of a U.S. business that owned export-controlled machinery
  • Successfully represented a client before CFIUS in a transaction involving the transfer of military technology
  • Successfully negotiated a mitigation and trusted-source agreement with the Department of Defense as part of a CFIUS review

Other Matters

  • Pioneer Natural Resources in its $1.7 billion joint venture with Sinochem to develop 207,000 acres in the Permian Basin
  • Represented Sinochem International Corporation, a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise, in connection with its proposed joint venture with a U.S. petrochemical logistics company, NewPort Tank Containers
  • Duke Energy Company in the 50/50 joint venture with Sumitomo Corporation for the development, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of Duke Energy’s 131 MW Cimarron II Wind Energy Project and 168 MW Ironwood Wind Energy Project, both located in Kansas
  • Successfully assisted a client in obtaining a summary judgment dismissing monopolization and attempted monopolization claims, and RICO claims
  • Successfully represented a client before the Department of Justice in a conspiracy and monopolization investigation
  • Successfully represented a client before the Federal Trade Commission in an exclusive dealing investigation

Insights

Contact Details

Washington

T +1.202.639.6737
F +1.202.879.8937
wvigdor@velaw.com
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037-1701
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Billy's Practices

  • George Washington University Law Center, J.D., 1990
  • University of Iowa, Ph.D., Economics, 1994
  • Emory University, B.A., Economics, 1981
  • Admitted to practice: Connecticut, 1990; New York, 1991; District of Columbia, 1992; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Attorney: Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 1997–2000
  • Deputy Assistant Director: Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 2000–2003
  • Chambers USA, Antitrust (District of Columbia), 2010–2015
  • Selected to the Washington, DC Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2012–2015
  • Legal 500 US, M&A Antitrust, 2012–2014
  • American Lawyer Media, Washington DC & Baltimore’s Top Rated Lawyers, 2012–2013
  • Co-Vice Chair: Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, ABA Section of Antitrust, 2001–2005
  • Chair and Vice Chair: Antitrust Committee, Energy Bar Association, 2002–2003