AIR PRODUCTS has dropped its takeover bid for Yingde Gases, China’s largest producer of industrial gases.
The US industrial gases giant made the initial offer for its Chinese rival in January, but declined to release details. However, media reports at the time suggested that Yingde Gases was worth US$814m, with net debt of around US$1.45bn.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Air Products said only: “Air Products announced that it has determined it is not in the best interests of Air Products’ shareholders to continue to pursue an acquisition of Yingde Gases Group Co. Ltd. at this time.”
The company did not elaborate further when contacted by The Chemical Engineer.
Air Products and Yindge had held what Yingde described as “constructive and friendly” talks in February, when Air Products CEO Seifollah Ghasemi met with Yingde chairman Zhao Xiangte to discuss Yingde’s business plan. The companies were “working closely” on due diligence, however, it seems agreement could not ultimately be reached.
A deal would have continued the trend for consolidation in the industrial gases sector seen in 2016, including the mergers of Linde and Praxair and of Air Liquide and Airgas. Air Products sold its speciality chemicals business to Evonik in May 2016 as part of its plan to focus on industrial gases.
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