Airgas honours IRO For Takeover defence

Airgas has honored vice president of communications and IR Jay Worley for his work fending off a year-long takeover attempt by Air Products.

The US distributor presented Worley with the annual Scott Melman Award, one of three awards given out by the company this week for exceptional performance. The award is named after Airgas’ former CFO, who passed away in 2001.

Air Products called off its long-drawn takeover attempt for Airgas in February this year, after a Delaware court ruled the target was within its rights to prevent shareholders from voting on the takeover proposal.

During the takeover saga, which included many twists and turns, Air Products managed to place three of its own nominees on Airgas’ board, only for the new directors to reject Air Products’ offer.

The court also upheld the use of a poison pill by Airgas to discourage hostile bidders, which has helped cement the validity of poison pills as a defensive measure for Delaware-incorporated companies.

‘Jay was the front-line coordinator of our strategies and responses with our advisers during our takeover defence,’ comments Airgas’ CEO Peter McCausland in a statement.

‘He led the development of our published responses, including shareholder and employee outreach communications. The quality of his work in a prolonged high-stakes environment was outstanding and he had a meaningful impact on our ultimate success.’

[Article by Tim Human, Inside Investor Relations]

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