The new $5.5 billion buyout offer from Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) failed to impress the board of directors of Airgas Inc. (ARG). The directors of Airgas have again collectively rejected the revised offer of $65.50 per share, citing that the new offer still grossly undervalues the company.
The Airgas board asserts that the $2 per share hike from the preceding offer of $63.50 per share also fails to gauge the inherent value, excellent prospects and impressive economic performance of the company. In a process to stop the persistent takeover bid from Air Products, the shareholders of Airgas are also advised to reject some director candidates and bylaw amendment proposals from Air Products, in the annual general meeting scheduled to be held in September 15, 2010.
As of Thursday afternoon, shares of Airgas stood at $64.11, losing $1.16 a share in Wednesday trading and an additional 48 cents per share thus far Thursday. The latest offer was made by Air Products on Monday, September 6, 2010.
The acquisition story dates back to October 2009 when Air Products proposed to acquire Airgas in an all-cash transaction of $60 per share. Air Products increased the offer price three separate times to settle at the current level of $65.50 per share to win over Airgas shareholders.
Since the board of directors of Airgas spurned all four bids, Air Products admitted that if the shareholders of Airgas reject the latest offer yet again, the acquisition deal will fall flat, leaving no space for further consideration.
Airgas currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). Based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Airgas Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and hard goods, such as welding equipment and supplies.