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Peter McCausland

For Airgas founder, time to savor rival's hedge fund headache

For Airgas Inc founder and Chairman Peter McCausland, there was a fair amount of schadenfreude in the air on Wednesday.McCausland, 62, fought a bitter and eventually successful battle for 13 months to keep Airgas independent in the face of a hostile bid from Air Products and Chemicals Inc .Now the hunter may become the hunted, with news that hedge fund manager William Ackman has taken a nearly 10 percent stake in Air Products. His former nemesis, Air Products CEO John McGlade, is signaling he is prepared to use the kinds of tactics McCausland used to defend his company against Ackman."There is a fair amount of irony in this," McCausland said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. "I don't really know what Mr. Ackman's plans are, but I think it'll be interesting to see how much the Air Products management enjoys dealing with the arbitrageurs who come into the stock at times like these."Airgas successfully fended off Air Products in 2011 after a bruising battle that consumed Wall Street ...

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