Walking on Air
Wachtell and the takeover defense bar see Airgas as the ultimate vindication.
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., lost two groundbreaking battles during the hostile takeover bid for rival specialty gas maker Airgas, Inc., that it launched in October 2009. The first was a direct attack on the poison pill: The bidder argued that the vaunted takeover defense strategy, invented by Martin Lipton of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, can be used for only a limited time frame. Foiling this attack generated splashy headlines—"Wachtell Saves Marty's Baby"—but it was always a bit of a sideshow because Wachtell, which defended the target Airgas on every front, never thought that the result was in doubt.
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