Air Products Extends Offer To Buy Airgas

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Industrial and medical gas supplier Air Products and Chemicals Inc. said Wednesday it has extended its offer to buy shares of Airgas Inc. until Dec. 3. The offer of $65.50 per share was scheduled to expire Friday. Air Products said nearly 1.9 million Airgas shares were validly tendered and not withdrawn from the offer as of Tuesday.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Industrial and medical gas supplier Air Products and Chemicals Inc. said Wednesday it has extended its offer to buy shares of Airgas Inc. until Dec. 3.

The offer of $65.50 per share was scheduled to expire Friday. Air Products said nearly 1.9 million Airgas shares were validly tendered and not withdrawn from the offer as of Tuesday.

Air Products has been trying to buy its rival for months and boosted its offer last month by $2 to $65.50 per share. Airgas executives has called that price "grossly inadequate."

Airgas said Tuesday its board members feel the company's value in any sale would "meaningfully" exceed $70 per share. The company pointed to its strong performance — second-quarter earnings climbed 22 percent — to support its contention that shareholders should be adequately compensated.

Airgas, based in Radnor, Pa., sells industrial and medical gases and provides gas equipment, welding products, tools, and safety gear. Air Products sells gases for industrial, medical and other uses.

Air Products shares fell $1.53 to close $84.17 in trading Wednesday, while Airgas shares lost 4 cents to close at $70.80.

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