Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE: APD) has decided to walk away from a nonbinding $1.5 billion bid to buy Yingde Gases (HKG: 2168), with the Pennsylvania-based Air Products writing in an SEC filing that the deal was "not in the best interests" of its shareholders. At that price, the merger of the two industrial gas companies would have represented the largest M&A takeover of a Chinese target by a US buyer since the start of 2010, according to the PitchBook Platform.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG reportedly agreed to buy a 42% stake in Yingde from the company's founders for $616 million, the latest twist in a wild few months that included the removal of Yingde's CEO and COO and a tangle with activist investor Oasis Management.
Corporate investors have completed 1,136 M&A transactions in the chemicals & gases space since the start of 2010, according to the PitchBook Platform—during which time just a handful of deals have been canceled. Since the start of 2016, meanwhile, 33 more new deals in the sector have been announced or reached the bidding phrase, including Bayer’s massive acquisition of Monsanto for some $66 billion.