Air Products has prevailed in a key vote of Airgas shareholders that strengthens its attempt to buy Airgas, but now this battle is headed for Delaware court.
In a hotly disputed vote, Air Products succeeded in replacing three Airgas directors including current Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland with its own nominees and in getting a win(I’m told it prevailed by about 3 million votes but did not get a majority of outstanding shares) for its proposal to move the company’s meeting of stockholders to January.
Airgas is determined not to give in on moving the meeting, saying in a statement that “We believe that the proposal has not been approved because it received the affirmative vote of less than 67 percent of the shares entitled to vote generally in the election of directors.
As previously announced, "Airgas intends to seek an expedited judicial determination on the validity of this by-law.”
By all accounts, it was a very close vote on the proposal, ultimately going Air Products' way when one shareholder made its decision this morning.
The question now beyond the litigation is whether Airgas will consider coming to the negotiating table, or officially put itself up for sale.
Those buying the stock here in hopes of either outcome should know that my sources tell me there is virtually no chance that Air Products will increase its offer, currently $65.50, past $69 a share.
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