The board of Airgas Inc., the largest US distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, yesterday unanimously rejected a $7-billion all-cash purchase offer from Air Products and Chemicals Inc, saying it significantly undervalues the company.
Air Products made a formal hostile bid for Airgas on 11 February at $60-a-share.
"The Airgas board strongly urges stockholders to reject Air Products' offer and not tender their shares," said Airgas chairman and CEO Peter McCausland in a release.
The board said that the value offered by Air Products is unchanged from the unsolicited proposal Air Products made on 4 February 2010 (See: Air Products launches $5.1 billion unsolicited bid for Airgas).However, the company promptly rejected the offer on 9 February (See: Airgas rejects Air Products' $5.1 billion takeover bid ).
In December 2009 too Airgas received a cash and stock proposal from Air Products with an implied value of $62 per share, revising its October 2009 proposal for an all-stock deal with an implied value of $60 per share.
"Since our IPO in 1986, Airgas has employed a disciplined approach to steadily growing revenue, EBITDA and shareholders equity, and Airgas stock has achieved total shareholder return over that period of more than seven times the return of the S&P 500 index,'' McCausland noted.