Air Products Extends Hostile Bid For Airgas

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (AP) -- Air Products & Chemicals Inc. extended by two months the expiration date of its $5.1 billion hostile takeover bid for rival Airgas Inc., with Airgas reiterating its opposition to the offer.

Air Products said late Tuesday it extended the $60-per-share tender offer to Aug. 13. It was previously scheduled to expire June 4. Air Products said just under 16,000 shares have been tendered, which is less than 0.02 percent of Airgas' outstanding shares.

In February, Air Products took its takeover offer directly to Airgas shareholders.

Airgas on Wednesday again urged shareholders to reject the offer, saying it "grossly" undervalues the company. The offer represents a 38 percent premium to Airgas' closing price on Feb. 4, the day before the first offer was disclosed. Airgas added it remains on track to earn at least $4.20 per share in calendar year 2012.

Air Products & Chemicals of Allentown, Pa., sells gasses including argon, nitrogen, hydrogen, helium and oxygen for industrial, medical and other uses. Airgas, based in Radnor, Pa., sells gasses and provides gas equipment, welding products, tools, safety gear and janitorial supplies.

Shares of Air Products & Chemicals rose $1.70, or 2.5 percent, to close Wednesday at $69.12. Airgas gained 80 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $62.80.

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