Air Liquide acquire Airgas $13 billion

Air Liquide to acquire Airgas for $13 billion

10:05 AM, 18th November 2015
Air Liquide to acquire Airgas for $13 billion
Benoit Potier, chairman and CEO, Air Liquide. (File photo)

PARIS, FRANCE/RADNOR, US: Air Liquide SA said it will acquire Airgas Inc for $13.4 billion with a purchase price of $143 per share in cash, representing a premium of 50.6 percent to Airgas’ one month average share price. Airgas shares surged from about $106 per share to about $114 per share after a trading halt, at the New York stock exchange.

The deal will create one of the largest industrial gases firms in the US and it will increase Air Liquide’s sales in gases and services by about 30 percent, Air Liquide said. 

Also Airgas will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Liquide, the company said.

“This combination offers significant benefits for all of our stakeholders due to the highly complementary nature of the two businesses. This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient US market and offers continuous growth opportunities,” said Benoit Potier, chairman and CEO, Air Liquide.

“Airgas customers and employees will benefit from Air Liquide’s unrivalled global footprint and strength in technology, innovation and operational efficiency, while Airgas is ready to bring the entrepreneurial culture and packaged gas excellence that have driven our success to date,” said Peter McCausland, executive chairman, Airgas.

Air Liquide will fund the acquisition with a refinancing, comprising of a €3-4 billion ($3.2-4.25 billion) capital increase, as well as US dollar and euro-denominated long-term bonds. Cost savings from the deal are expected to total about $300 million/year, pre-tax, within the first three years.

Barclays Bank Plc and BNP Paribas are acting as financial advisors to Air Liquide, and also as underwriters of the bridge financing. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Bredin Prat are acting as legal advisors to Air Liquide.

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are acting as financial advisors to Airgas and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Airgas.

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