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Air Products & Chemicals, which launched a hostile, $7 billion bid for industrial gases firm Airgas in February, is taking steps to force Airgas to the negotiating table. Air Products has proposed three candidates for election to the Airgas board, as well as a series of amendments to Airgas’ bylaws designed to ease its takeover attempt. The next Airgas annual meeting must be held before Sept. 17. One bylaw change proposed by Air Products would mandate that the following Airgas annual meeting occur on Jan. 18, 2011, allowing Air Products to stack Airgas’ board more quickly. “We believe that Air Products’ interests are diametrically opposed to those of our shareholders,” Airgas says in a statement.
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