US Air Products makes $5.1bn offer for rival Airgas

05 February 2010 14:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Air Products has made an offer to acquire industrial gasses producer Airgas for $60.00 (€43.80) per share or $5.1bn in cash, the US industrial gases major said on Friday.

The total value of the deal would be $7.0bn, including $5.1bn of equity and $1.9bn of assumed debt, Air Products said.

“At $60.00 per share, the offer provides a 38% premium to Airgas shareholders based on yesterday’s closing price of $43.53 and is 18% above Airgas’ 52-week high,” Air Products said in a statement.

In the past four months, Air Products had made two written offers but they were rejected by the Airgas board, the company said.

Air Products expected cost savings of $250m by the end of year two of the acquisition and said the deal would immediately add to its earnings.

Air Products, headquartered in Pennsylvania, added that the combined company would be the largest industrial gas company in North America and one of the largest in the world.

“Bringing together these two highly complementary companies would create substantial value,” said John McGlade, Air Products’ chairman, president and CEO.

“While we are disappointed that Airgas has thus far prevented its shareholders from receiving a substantial premium and immediate liquidity, we have repeatedly communicated to the Airgas Board our willingness to improve our offer to reflect any incremental value they can demonstrate,” McGlade added.

McGlade said the company was fully committed to pursuing the transaction and was prepared to take all necessary steps to complete it, including making an offer directly to Airgas shareholders.

Air Products said it has secured committed financing from its financial adviser, JP Morgan, to complete the offer. 

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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