FTC obstacle tackled in Airgas acquisition saga


Air Products has reached an agreement with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Staff on the terms of a Consent Decree in connection with the Airgas, Inc acquisition. Consequently, no further practical obstacles stand in the way of the acquisition, placing the entire onus on the decisions of Airgas shareholders.
The Consent Decree will permit Air Products to acquire Airgas subject to the divestiture of certain assets and will enable the closing of the acquisition prior to completion of the divestiture. The assets to be withdrawn are mainly those associated to Airgas’ liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases, including production assets. Having signed the Consent Decree, it is now subject to review and approval by the FTC Commissioners.
Air Products Chairman, President and CEO, John E McGlade, said, “Having reached agreement with the FTC on the terms of a Consent Decree, we have now satisfied the principal conditions to completing a transaction with Airgas. There remain no substantive impediments to closing immediately other than the intransigence of the Airgas Board. The next step for Airgas shareholders is to elect our three highly qualified board nominees and approve our other proposals at the 2010 Airgas Annual Meeting scheduled for September 15, 2010.”
McGlade continued, “The Airgas Board has refused to discuss our offer and has failed to promptly put the company up for sale.” Nevertheless, Air Products has extended the expiration of its tender offer to buy all outstanding shares of Airgas at $63.50 per share in cash. The new expiry time is set for 12:00 midnight New York City time on 29th October 2010.
The prior expiration date of 13th August saw approximately 23.2% of Airgas’ 83,666,869 shares tendered to Air Products.

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