They want back into packaged gases because the strategic moves to profit from high growth in electronics, materials, medical and hyco have run their course some well and some not so well. International markets remain uncertain for investment for the forseeable. The still top heavy infrastructure, now significantly automated can handle a larger business than APD currently is and the competitive imperative is that LAL and Linde have become very much larger in a "global size matters" game (and can project their business model anywhere they choose) while here at home PX is fully vertically integrated, has become the wall street darling with that model,commanding in the home market and looking at a US economic recovery over the next five years that should afford good growth and price opportunities, threatening to pull away yet further ahead of APD. They may not pull it off, remains to be seen but there's almost no other "big play" strategic path left for APD. Meantime they have destroyed a whole lot of shareholder value to date, in the gamble.
Long tine no hear from you.... you are not confused...in breeding has caused a form of dementia ....APCI continues to make the same mistakes over and over and over again... I should have sold my remaing shares at peak...my bad
IMO its all about cash flow...their idea to sell packaged gas and invest heavily in non-US ventures (China, India, etc) was good in 02, but now that the int'l market has gone to h*ll, they are looking to buy a solid financial performer on the cheap...ARG generates more operating capital on half the sales revenue of APCI...APCI is looking for cash to build more non-US ASU's..at least ARG is focused on the US market for development, not ONLY chasing dollars..my humble opinion only
Growth through aquisition for AP in the Us. AP getting Airgas cheap compared to future earnings through revenue improvement and aquistional growth by Airgas.
Negatives are one less player in the marketplace, loss of jobs through synergies,etc.
The game is changing.
Technology and future use of gases at the retail level will probably grow exponentially in the next 10 years.
Maybe they want back in because they are confident that energy delivery will involve liquified gases in the near future.
Nat gas recovery, clean coal, CO2 capture, oil shale...all involve the demand for gases.
'Saudi Arabia of gas' has a ring to it.
Buy on the takeover dip.
Only thing I can think of is they raised cash in 2000 by selling packaged gases to buy into Health Care... well, Health Care was a complete dud, so APD is restructuring back into its core competency by liquidating all non gases businesses.
Buying ARG today, selling electronics and what's left of its chemicals/epoxy businesses tomorrow
ARG board is foolish to reject this offer. Even so, APD has a good chance to get ARG shareholders to vote for the buyout as 80% of ARG shareholders are Institutional.
Best of luck.
I am rebuying some APD while it's cheap.