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Air Products wants no preconditions to Airgas talks
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD.N), which launched a hostile bid for rival industrial gas company Airgas Inc (ARG.N), said it was prepared to negotiate immediately but would not agree to preconditions for such a meeting.
Air Products' statement on Friday was a response to a letter sent by Airgas earlier this week.
In that letter, Airgas said it would be willing to open talks on a deal if Air Products gives sufficient reason to believe that negotiations would lead to a deal at a price above $70 per share.
Airgas has rejected Air Products' $65.50-per-share cash bid, which values the company at about $5.5 billion.
Air Products has said that its views on value remain unchanged.
"Analyst estimates for Airgas on a standalone basis, as well as the fact that we are over a year into this process and no other bidder for Airgas has emerged, all point to the need for Airgas to be realistic in its price expectations," the company said in its letter.
Airgas shares were up 7 cents at $70.86 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Derek Caney)
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