Airgas, Radnor, Pennsylvania, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Liquide, based in Paris, France, under an agreement reached between the two companies. Air Liquide is a world leader in gases, technologies, and services for industry and health; Airgas is a leading supplier of industrial gases and associated products and services in the United States.
Airgas shareholders will receive $143 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of Airgas, representing a total enterprise value of $13.4 billion on a fully diluted basis and including the assumption of Airgas debt.
“This combination offers significant benefits for all of our stakeholders due to the highly complementary nature of the two businesses,” said Benoît Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide. “It also advances Air Liquide’s vision to lead the industry and deliver long-term performance while acting responsibly. This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient U.S. market, and offers continuous growth opportunities. Airgas is the industry leader in U.S. packaged gases with a customer-centric organization, and we are confident in our ability to successfully combine operations. Airgas is a unique partner, and together we will continue to advance our strategy based on profitable growth and innovation over the long-term.”
“This transaction is compelling for our shareholders, arising from the persistent execution of our business strategy for more than three decades,” said Peter McCausland, executive chairman of Airgas. “Air Liquide’s long-term vision and strong heritage in the U.S. make it the right fit for our valued customers, and the combination creates significant opportunities for the talented employees of both companies. Airgas customers and employees will benefit from Air Liquide’s unrivaled 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. We are excited about the prospects of integrating these two businesses to create the largest industrial gas company in the world. We look forward to working closely with Air Liquide to complete the transaction and achieve a smooth transition.”
“We have the highest respect for Airgas, its organization, its employees, and its stakeholders, as well as for what they have achieved over more than 30 years,” Potier added. “We look forward to working with their teams as we move to complete the transaction and combine both businesses.”
This acquisition gives Air Liquide a greater presence in the U.S. market, the largest for industrial gases worldwide, and positions it for growth. In addition, there is potential for further growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s technologies.
The transaction has been unanimously approved by each of Airgas’ and Air Liquide’s boards of directors, but it is subject to Airgas shareholders’ approval, receipt of necessary antitrust and other regulatory approvals, and other customary conditions and provisions.