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Ackman Target Air Products & Chemicals Inc. Announces Spin-Off Of Materials Technologies Business

Air Products & Chemicals Inc., a target of activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, announced yesterday that its Board of Directors has decided to separate fully its Materials Technologies business via a tax-free spin-off to its shareholders before September 2016.

According to the company, the spin-off will allow Air Products' Industrial Gases and the Materials Technologies businesses to leverage their respective critical competencies and enhance their competitive positions. In other words, Air Products' board has decided to undertake this action to unlock value for investors.

After the spin-off completes, Air Products will be left with its industrial gases business. Air Products is one of the world's largest industrial gas companies. The company breaks air down into its individual products, oxygen, nitrogen and other components, which are then used...