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Business

Air Products Drops Its Pursuit Of Airgas

by Alexander H. Tullo
February 21, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 8

After a contentious battle that lasted more than a year, Air Products & Chemicals is abandoning its hostile takeover bid for industrial gas distributor Airgas. Since last February, Airgas’ board has repeatedly rejected Air Products’ public overtures for the company. Most recently, Airgas’ board—including three directors nominated by Air Products—rejected a $70.00-per-share bid in December 2010. The final straw came last week when the Delaware Court of Chancery upheld Airgas’ “poison pill” provisions, which provide a defense to a hostile takeover attempt. “We are disappointed by the court’s decision,” says Air Products’ CEO John E. McGlade. “It is abundantly clear that the Airgas board is thoroughly entrenched in its position, so we have decided to withdraw our offer and move on.” The news came as little surprise to investors. After the announcement that Air Products was pulling out, Airgas shares inched up slightly, closing on Feb. 16 at $64.35 per share.

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