Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. Unveils Major Restructuring

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Earlier this week, activist Trian Fund Management, L.P. went public with its calls for E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD) to restructure its seven divisions into two in order to breakup the enormous red tape and confusing corporate structure of the over 200 year-old chemical company something Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) knows something about from its experiences with activist investors.

The industrial gases producer replaced former CEO John McGlade with Seifi Ghasemi who was named chief executive, chairman, and president in June after pressure from activist investor William (Bill) Ackman insisted on a search for a new top exec. In addition, two others joined the board of Air Products as independent directors along with Mr. Ghasemi to fill the gap left by McGlade.

Air Products & Chemicals‘ restructuring announced and explained

“Air Products had the industry leadership position 20 years ago and maintains leading market positions in key regions,” Mr. Ghasemi said in a news release. “We will regain that leadership position by first reorganizing our Industrial Gases segment on a geographic basis, and move to a decentralized, simpler, and more efficient structure which creates true profit and loss (P&L) accountability at many levels of the organization.”

Three of the new segments are related to materials technologies, energy from waste and corporate operations while its core business, industrial gasses, will now comprise four units broken down and organized by geography: Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia; and global. (As well as a punctuation nightmare for financial journalists)

Stock hits all-time high

While Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) disappointed analysts’ expectations with its top line and lowered its full-year profit outlook, the company reported higher revenue and profit for its third quarter on increased volumes across all its businesses.

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) shot to an all-time high as trading commenced on Thursday rising to $137.45 before falling to $133.04 to close the day. That represents a gain of $2.12 on the day or 1.62%.

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