Airgas (NYSE: ARG) shareholders, during a special shareholder meeting held earlier today, voted to approve the previously announced acquisition of Airgas, one of the leading suppliers of industrial gases and associated products and services in the United States, by Air Liquide (Euronext Paris: AI), world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health. 75.9% of the total outstanding shares of Airgas common stock and 99.5% of the total shares voted were in favor of the transaction. The affirmative vote of a simple majority of outstanding Airgas shares was required to approve the merger. Once the acquisition is completed, the combined entity will be the largest industrial gas company in the world with leadership in North America complementing its number one positions in Europe, Africa/Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Bringing together two highly complementary businesses will deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers around the world. Peter McCausland, Executive Chairman of Airgas, said: "I thank our shareholders for their trust and support. The transaction with Air Liquide is very compelling and we are excited to move forward with the process to create the largest industrial gas company in the world. The combined company will improve existing offerings and open new markets, benefiting both companies' customers and employees. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Air Liquide to complete the transaction and achieve a smooth transition." Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said: "This approval is a significant milestone as we move closer to completing our acquisition of Airgas. The transaction will deliver substantial benefits to both companies' stakeholders and will further solidify our ambition to be the leader in our industry, delivering long-term performance and acting responsibly. We look forward to a successful future with Airgas." Assuming timely receipt of the necessary antitrust and other regulatory approvals, and satisfaction of all closing conditions, the parties continue to expect to complete the merger in the second or third calendar quarter of 2016.