UpdateAir Products decries court ruling in takeover fight

24 November 2010 00:43  [Source: ICIS news]

Court rules against Air Products(adds paragraphs 1-2)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Air Products on Tuesday decried a court ruling that could scuttle its attempt to acquire industrial gases distributor Airgas.

“We are disappointed that the Delaware Supreme Court has overturned the by-law approved by Airgas shareholders,” said Air Products, an industrial gases producer. “Airgas shareholders have been disenfranchised and have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in market value as a result.”

The Delaware Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a by-law change that would have helped Air Products in its hostile takeover bid for Airgas.

Airgas had appealed a lower court ruling in October that upheld the by-law change, which would have moved Airgas’s annual stockholder meeting up by eight months to 18 January.

Airgas’s management is contesting Air Product’s $5.5bn (€4.0bn) hostile takeover bid, saying it undervalues Airgas.

Airgas shareholders voted on 15 September to replace three Airgas board members with three nominees from Air Products. The by-law change would have allowed the new board members to vote in January to approve the takeover.

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By: Brian Ford
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