* Air Products makes “best and final” offer of $70/share
* Previous bid was $65.50, which Airgas said was too low
* Airgas shares drop 6.2 pct
* Air Products shares rise 2 pct (Adds Breakingviews link; Air Products shares)
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Air Products & Chemicals Inc APD.N made its "best and final" offer on Thursday for rival industrial gas supplier Airgas Inc ARG.N, bumping the price by 7 percent to $5.9 billion, but the shares fell as investors bet it still was not enough to clinch a deal.
Air Products, seeking to put an end to a year-long takeover battle, offered $70 a share. That still falls below the $78 a share, or $6.5 billion value, that Airgas previously said it was worth. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Reuters Breakingviews [ID:nN09248776] ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
Airgas shares fell 6.2 percent to close at $61.84 on Thursday, indicating market expectations Airgas may again reject the price. Air Products original bid was $60 in February. [ID:nSGE61406A]
“It is time to bring this matter to a conclusion and we are today making our best and final offer for Airgas,” Air Products Chief Executive John McGlade said in a statement.
Airgas said it would review the new bid.
Airgas had said the previous bid of $65.50, which valued it at $5.5 billion, was too low and argued it was worth at least $78 a share. [ID:nN23159728]
Air Products shares rose 2 percent to $88.75. (Reporting by Braden Reddall and Megan Davies; editing by Steve Orlofsky and Andre Grenon)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.