updated - January 26, 2020 Sunday EST
Air Liquide SA, a world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, has announced in a press release that it will be acquiring Airgas Inc. for about $13.4 billion.
The acquisition will strengthen Air Liquide's global leadership position, combining Airgas' number one position in the U.S. with the company's number one positions in Europe, Africa / Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.
Air Liquide said in the press release that the acquisition of Airgas gives the company a greater presence in the U.S. market and ideally positions Air Liquide for future growth.
Airgas has an unmatched presence in the U.S. with more than 1 million customers.
Air Liquide adds in the press release that the combination of the two companies also brings together two complementary businesses to deliver greater value, service, and innovation to customers.
Airgas' leadership in packaged gases business and associated products and services, together with Air Liquid's strong footprint in complementary activities increases the combined companies' scope and competitive product offerings.
Benoît Potier, the chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said in the press release that the two companies' highly complementary nature provides significant benefits for all stakeholders.
"This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient U.S. market, and offers continuous growth opportunities," he said. "Airgas is the industry leader in U.S. packaged gases with a customer-centric organization and we are confident in our ability to successfully combine operations."
Bloomberg adds that the acquisition of Airgas helps Air Liquide overcome competitors like Linde AG, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., and Praxair, Inc.
The acquisition has enabled Air Liquide to take the top spot in North America.
Bloomberg adds that the acquisition also comes four years after Air Products unsuccessful $5.9 billion hostile bid for Airgas.
A Delaware judge has upheld the poison-pill takeover defense that forced Air Products to abandon its bid.
Under the terms of the agreement, Airgas shareholders will receive $143 in cash for each outstanding share of Airgas, according to the press release.
The transaction represents a premium of 50.6 percent to Airgas' one-month average share price, prior to the announcement of the transaction.
Air Liquide adds in the press release that Airgas will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Liquide.
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