Airgas has rejected Air Products’ “best and final” offer to purchase it for $70 per share. This marks the sixth offer that Airgas’ board has rebuffed.
The key line in the press release is this one:
“…the Board unanimously concluded that the $70 per share offer is clearly inadequate and that the value of Airgas in a sale, at this time, is at least $78.00 per share, in light of the Board’s view of relevant valuation metrics.”
What this means is that the three directors that Air Products nominated to Airgas board–and were elected largely by new, deal arbitrage shareholders at Airgas’ annual meeting in September—not only agreed to reject the offer but also recommended a price of $78 per share.
This is a blow to Air Products. I will be very surprised if Air Products does anything other than quickly withdraw its offer. How on earth could they raise the bid by $6 or $8 after putting a “best and final” stamp @ $70?
UPDATE: Air Products has responded. In the statement, Air Products CEO McGlade talks about how awesome his $70 per share offer is. “Our offer expires on January 14,” he added. In other words, “I’m getting my coat. I’m putting my coat on. Now I’m putting my hat on. I’m walking for the door. I’ll turn around if you change your mind. I’m turning the doorknob…”
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