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Airgas Rejects Air Products' Latest Bid

Source: Air Products and Chemicals

The ten month struggle between Airgas and Air Products has produced a number of novelties in a takeover battle and that continues today with Airgas' rejection of Air Products latest bid.

In a letter to its shareholders explaining the rejection, Airgas says that its Board will explore all available alternatives to the "grossly inadequate" Air Products offer, in order to enhance stockholder value prior to a special meeting of shareholders it will call for June 2011.

All of this, of course, is contingent on shareholders voting down Air Products novel proposal to move the annual meeting to January of next year—enabling Air Products to take another shot at three director seats and give it a clear path to control of the company.

Other notable items in the latest rejection:

  • The contention by Airgas that Air Products' is threatening to drop its bid if it doesn’t win the vote on directors

  • The meeting proposal is an empty one

  • Its promise, through repurchases or other transactions, to assist its stockholders who desire to sell their shares in the near term so as to smooth any downdraft in the stock price if Air Products does drop its offer.

Right now, both sides are waiting for proxy advisory firm ISS to weigh in on the vote, something that should come later today.

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