Air Products Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi was among the speakers at this week’s Citi Basic Materials Conference in New York.
He discussed the future of Air Products on its current plan for growth and the recent spinoff of its Materials Technologies branch to the new company, Versum, and took a quick moment to comment on the recent acquisition of Airgas by Air Liquide. He made the company’s position clear:
”There has been some speculation that we are going to participate in any kind of bidding for Airgas. We are not going to do that. We think a full price has been paid and therefore we have no intention of participating in any kind of bidding for that asset.” –Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products
His comments were particularly resonant in light of Air Products’ 2010 hostile takeover attempt of Airgas, which Airgas foiled with a “poison pill” threat because they felt that Air Products’ $70/share price was too low. Air Liquide has put out more than twice that at $143/share, totaling in a $13.4 billion deal, including debt.
Ghasemi, who took over as Chairman, President, and CEO of Air Products in 2014 – some three years after the Airgas deal fell through – also reconfirmed the company’s commitment to its goals for next year by stating, ”I’d like to formally reconfirm our guidance for 2016, that Air Products will deliver an EPS of about 7.25 to 7.50 per share, which at midpoint is about a 12 percent improvement over 2015.”
”A lot of people are saying that the industrial gases business is in trouble and all of that. We don’t see it that way. We have done a lot of work at our company and feel very confident about our business and our way forward.”