Weekly updates of the ongoing Airgas / Air Products acquisition seem unavoidable, and this week is no exception. Indeed, Air Products concluded yesterday with letters to the Airgas Board and Shareholders, in which it accused the company of using ‘double-talk’ to confuse the acquisition attempt.
Yesterday’s correspondence was the lengthiest dialogue to date. Air Products’ Chairman, President and CEO, John E McGlade, issued two similar letters to the Airgas Board as well as the shareholders. In the letter to shareholders, Air Products was keen to point out Airgas’, ‘numerous inconsistencies and misstatements’ regarding the bid.
The company continued, “Airgas shareholders have no doubt dismissed, as we have, many of these as the tactical manoeuvring of an entrenched Board. However, as the 15th September Airgas Annual Meeting approaches, we believe Airgas shareholders should carefully review the credibility of their incumbent Board in discharging its fiduciary duty of candour to Airgas’ shareholders.” The remainder of the letter stated various ways in which Airgas has been allegedly misleading its shareholders.
Meanwhile, the subsequent letter, addressed to the Airgas Board of Directors, reiterated McGlade’s concerns regarding ‘double-talk’ and misleading statements. The correspondence concluded with a plea; “On September 15, your shareholders have an important decision to make—one we believe will be heavily influenced by their judgment of whether the incumbent Airgas Board has been honest with them and is acting in their interests by refusing to negotiate with Air Products. We urge you once again to reconsider your position with respect to our offer.”
Readers can expect a full report from gasworld as soon as Airgas issues its inevitable rebuttal.