Despite announcing completion of the final bureaucratic hurdle within the Airgas acquisition attempt, yesterday, Air Products issued a press release detailing that it has filed notification with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and in doing so, ‘satisfied the principal conditions to completing a transaction with Airgas.’
The company completed this action in accordance with requirements stipulated in the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976.
The Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period will elapse on 8th September, unless terminated earlier by the FTC. The news follows an announcement on 16th August, in which Air Products announced that it had reached an agreement with FTC Staff on the terms of a Consent Decree for the acquisition of Airgas. According to the Consent Decree, Air Products is permitted to purchase Airgas subject to the divestiture of specific assets. The assets relate to Airgas’ liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases. Air Products has signed the Consent Decree and awaits approval from FTC Commissioners.
In a statement Air Products described that pending the HSR waiting period, “Air Products will have satisfied the principal conditions to completing a transaction with Airgas, and there will remain no substantive impediments to closing immediately other than the intransigence of the Airgas Board.”
Recent correspondence between Airgas and its shareholders indicates that the ‘substantive impediment’ does indeed remain in Airgas’ hands.