Today, Airgas, Inc. announced that having considered Air Products revised tender offer, and received financial & legal advice, the company has ‘unanimously rejected’ the revised bid.
Barely a week ago, Air Products issued a tender offer to acquire all outstanding common shares of Airgas at a price of $65.50 per share in cash. Peter McCausland, Airgas Chairman and CEO, responded, “The Airgas Board of Directors is unanimous in its belief that Air Products' revised offer, which represents only a $2.00 per share increase over its previous offer, continues to grossly undervalue Airgas.$quot; At the end of last week, Friday 3rd September, the closing price of Airgas common stock was $66.67.
He continued, $quot;We believe that this slight increase in Air Products' offer price does not adequately compensate Airgas stockholders for the Company's inherent value, excellent prospects and impressive economic performance since Air Products first announced its offer. The Board is unanimous in its belief that $65.50 per share is not an appropriate value or a sensible starting point for negotiations to achieve such a value.”
McCausland concluded, $quot;We believe that Air Products' threat to withdraw its offer if Airgas stockholders do not elect its nominees and approve its By-Law proposals is just another coercive tactic designed to facilitate the acquisition of Airgas at the lowest possible price. If Air Products follows through on its threat, Airgas intends, through repurchases or other transactions, to assist its stockholders who desire to sell their shares in the near term.”
Further details on the Board’s recommendation regarding the Air Products tender offer is set forth in more detail in Airgas’ Schedule 14D-9 amendment, which will be filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).