December 10, 2010 / 5:55 PM / in 7 years

3 Airgas directors say their views misrepresented-CNBC

2 Min Read

* Three Airgas board members hire lawyers-CNBC

* Say "unanimous" wording on Nov. letter inaccurate - CNBC

* Airgas shares up 3 pct; Air Products shares up slightly

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Three Airgas ARG.N directors have hired lawyers to challenge company statements that the full board is in "unanimous" opposition to a takeover bid from rival Air Products & Chemicals (APD.N), according to a report on CNBC.

The three directors, who were supported by Air Products in their bid to join the Airgas board earlier this fall, have hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, one of the world's largest law firms, CNBC said.

Shares of Airgas rose 3 percent to $63.75, while Air Products were up 0.2 percent at $88.84.

Airgas and Air Products representatives were not immediately available to comment.

On Thursday, Air Products increased its bid for Airgas by 7 percent to $70 per share cash, or $5.9 billion. Airgas said it would review the latest offer, but has said in the past that it is worth $78 per share. [ID:nN09252192]

The three directors initially agreed to wording in a Nov. 2 Airgas letter stating that the board was in "unanimous" opposition to the then-current offer, but now are saying they were misrepresented, CNBC reported.

The three new board members are John Clancey, chairman emeritus of shipping company Maersk; Robert Lumpkins, board chairman of fertilizer producer Mosaic (MOS.N), and Ted Miller, former chief executive officer of wireless communications tower provider Crown Castle International Corp (CCI.N). (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Michael Erman; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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