HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) - Air Products and Chemicals
Inc said on Friday it would drop a proposed $1.5 billion
bid for China's largest producer of industrial gases, leaving
the door open for a competing offer from Hong Kong-based private
equity firm PAG.
The U.S. industrial gas maker said in a securities filing it
would not pursue the purchase of Yingde Gases Group Co Ltd
because "it is not in the best interests of Air
It gave no further reasons for its decision, which came less
than a day after Yingde said its financial position could be
"materially adversely impacted" following a management
Yingde's profit warning sent its shares down 4.4 percent on
Friday to close at HK$6.26.
The U.S. firm had approached Yingde in December, offering as
much as $1.5 billion in cash, pending an examination of the
Chinese company's finances. PAG had matched the Air Products
offer of as much as HK$6 per share of Yingde.
Yingde had been the subject of a rare public Chinese
boardroom battle, with co-founders Sun Zhongguo, Trevor Strutt
and Zhao Xiangti jostling for control of the board.
The company had also received a takeover approach from asset
manager StellarS Capital (Hong Kong) Ltd worth $1.1 billion,
while PAG agreed to buy the combined 42.1 percent stakes of
Zhao, Sun and Strutt for $616 million.
(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edmund Blair)