Air Products receives consent from US trade panel for Airgas deal

16 August 2010 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Air Products said on Monday that it reached an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on a consent decree for its potential acquisition of packaged gas firm Airgas.

The consent decree would permit Air Products to acquire Airgas subject to the divestiture of certain assets and would also permit the closing of the acquisition prior to completion of divestitures, the company said.

The assets to be divested would primarily consist of Airgas’ liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases, including production and related assets, Air Products 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,” CEO John McGlade said.

“There remain no substantive impediments to closing immediately other than the intransigence of the Airgas board,” he added.

Air Products recently raised its $5.3bn (€4.1bn) takeover bid for Airgas to $63.50/share, but Airgas said it was still undervalued in the proposal.

As such, Air Products continued to urge Airgas shareholders to vote for Air Products-nominated executives to the Airgas board as well as other company-backed proposals at the Airgas annual shareholder meeting, to be held on 15 September.

The total value of the deal is $7.2bn, including $5.3bn of equity and $1.9bn of assumed debt, according to Air Products.

Air Products’ stock rose by 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $75.98/share in early Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Ben DuBose
+1 713 525 2653



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