This week has seen the AP – AG battle reach new levels of tension and today’s events have ensured that the week closes with yet another vehement exchange.
After Airgas’ fervent refusal of the revised tender bid issued by Air Products, Air Products issued a response letter appealing directly to the shareholders. The document from Air Products Chairman, President and CEO, John McGlade, urged shareholders, “to be heard in the Airgas Boardroom – tender your shares into our offer and vote for our proposals and independent director nominees at the 2010 Airgas Annual Meeting.”
In this ongoing saga, somewhat akin to ping-pong, it is perhaps no surprise for our readers to learn that Airgas subsequently issued an equally impassioned riposte. In an official press statement Airgas described the letter as, “just another attempt to facilitate its grossly inadequate offer”. Airgas also used the opportunity to reiterate, “outstanding first quarter 2011 results” which were only announced yesterday.
Furthermore, Airgas charged Air Products with attempting to scare its stockholders about market conditions. The press release cited Air Products’ Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Paul Hucks’ prior statement – “We have a pretty good look on the economy going forward for us. And we still feel that it is playing out as we expected, which is for good steady growth here in the US, starting to turn in Europe in the second half which we’re starting to see.” The rebuttal concluded; recommending that stockholders not tender their shares into the Air Products “inadequate” offer.