UPDATE 1-Airgas urges rejection of Air Products AGM proposal

* Proxy advisors cited as against advancing annual meeting

* Air Products says recommendation a “serious error”

(Adds details, background)

Sept 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Industrial gas supplier Airgas Inc
(ARG.N: ) today urged its shareholders to vote against rival Air
Products and Chemicals Inc’s (APD.N: ) proposal to bring forward
next year’s Airgas annual meeting, citing recommendations by two
proxy advisory firms.

In the latest development in the protracted takeover battle
for Airgas, Air Products responded that Institutional
Shareholder Services’ (ISS) recommendation against its proposal
to hold the next Airgas annual meeting in January, advancing it
by nine months, is a “serious error”.

“In choosing to support a meeting in January, Airgas
shareholders are in no way bound to accept a transaction at a
price they deem inadequate,” Air Products said in a statement.

Airgas meanwhile said that according to ISS, “pulling the
next annual meeting ahead by 9 months would significantly impair
the defensive value of the classified board, limiting the
board’s ability to negotiate the highest offer for

On Wednesday, Airgas rejected Air Products’ latest offer,
saying $5.5 billion is not an “appropriate value” or “sensible
starting point for negotiations.” [ID:nN07229323]

“We are pleased that both ISS and Glass Lewis recommend that
stockholders vote against Air Products’ proposal to amend the
company’s by-laws to require a January 2011 meeting of
stockholders,” Airgas Chief Executive Peter McCausland said.

Risk advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co had earlier said it did
not believe Air Products’ offer was the best option for Airgas
shareholders and suggested they should support incumbent
directors at this year’s Airgas annual meeting next week.
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Hans

UPDATE 1-Airgas urges rejection of Air Products AGM proposal