21 February 2007 08:25 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--European gas majors Linde and Air Liquide on Wednesday signed agreements to acquire each other’s shares in six Asian joint ventures.
This was done in accordance with a European Commission (EC) anti-trust regulation following Linde’s acquisition of rival BOC Group in September 2006.
Linde had committed itself to the EC’s condition that it was to terminate joint ventures between BOC and Air Liquide either by selling the BOC shares it held or by purchasing shares from Air Liquide, the German company said.
Under the agreements, Linde will purchase Air Liquide’s shares in gas companies Malaysian Oxygen and Hong Kong Oxygen & Acetylene, while selling its stake in Singapore Oxygen, Thailand-based Eastern Industrial Gases, Vietnam Industrial Gases and Brunei Oxygen to the French company.
Once the transactions have been completed, Linde will receive a net purchase price of €275m ($361.8m).
The pro-rata revenue that Linde will acquire and sell through the transactions amounts to approximately €125m and €110m respectively.
Following the acquisitions, Linde will have full ownership of Hong Kong Oxygen & Acetylene and a 45% holding in Malaysian Oxygen.
It is required to make a takeover bid for the remaining 55% of the Malaysian joint venture, worth about €249m.
In a similar move last December, Linde sold its 45% stake in Japan Air Gases to Air Liquide for €590m.
($1 = €0.76)
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