Suddenly, Poison Pills Are Relevant Again

Shareholder rights plans, so-called poison pills, have long drawn the ire of the institutional investor community and have lost favor with Corporate America. But a Delaware judge's recent decision to uphold Airgas's poison pill—followed by Air Products & Chemicals's prompt termination of its hostile bid—confirms that rights plans are still the most potent takeover defense available to targets of unsolicited bids.

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