Air Products One Step Closer To Airgas Purchase

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (AP) — Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said Tuesday it has filed its required notification with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed $5.5 billion cash acquisition of Airgas Inc. The FTC has until Sept. 8 to decide on antitrust clearance of the deal.

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (AP) — Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said Tuesday it has filed its required notification with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed $5.5 billion cash acquisition of Airgas Inc.

The FTC has until Sept. 8 to decide on antitrust clearance of the deal. Air Products has offered to buy Airgas Inc. for $63.50 per share, plus about $1.7 billion of debt — a price Airgas directors maintain "grossly undervalues" the company. Last week Airgas said 80 percent of its shareholders had not tendered their shares under the Air Products offer.

Air Products previously reached an agreement with FTC staff which would allow the company to buy Airgas if it agreed to sell off certain assets such as Airgas' liquid bulk and on-site supply of atmospheric gases.

Air Products, of Allentown, Pa., sells gases for industrial, medical and other uses. It has been pursuing its takeover of Radnor, Pa.-based Airgas for several months. Airgas sells industrial and medical gases and provides gas equipment, welding products, tools, and safety gear.

Shares of Air Products fell 85 cents to close at $73.84. Shares of Airgas fell 8 cents to finish at $66.45.

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