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Airgas Rejects 'Best Offer' from Air Products

The board of directors for Radnor, PA-based Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), No. 4 on MDM's list of the top 40 industrial distributors, has unanimously rejected the latest bid from Air Products (NYSE: APD), Lehigh Valley, PA. The revised offer announced earlier this month proposed to acquire all outstanding common shares of the industrial, medical and specialty gases distributor for $70 per share.

The board rejected the offer as "clearly inadequate," according to a press release, offering a "value of Airgas in a sale" of at least $78 per share. As a result, the board unanimously recommends against shareholders tendering shares at the current offer.

In a revised filing with the SEC, Airgas cited changes in economic conditions, strong outperformance of earlier company projections, and written opinions of the deal from various investment firms as reasons for making the recommendation.

Previously, Air Products announced the $70 per share offer was its "best and final offer." The expiration of that offer is Jan. 14, 2011.

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