Commission approves Air Products homecare business sale to Linde

18 April 2012 14:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission has approved Linde’s proposed acquisition of US-based Air Products homecare business, the regulatory authority said on Wednesday.

The German industrial gases firm announced in January that it had signed an agreement to buy Air Products homecare business for an enterprise value of €590m ($776m).

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 24 February 2012 and includes operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

The Commission said its investigation concluded that the transaction would not significantly change the existing market situation in the five countries concerned.

It added that in Germany, Spain, Belgium and Portugal, a significant number of credible competitors after the transaction will ensure sufficient competition on the markets, while in France the parties’ presence is limited.

Linde would not be able to raise prices or reduce the quality of its services following the transaction, the Commission said, while Air Products would be free to supply other companies.

On this basis, the Commission said that the deal would not significantly impede competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Linde said that Air Products homecare business achieved annual sales of €210m in 2011.

The two companies expect the transaction to be completed by the end of April 2012.

Linde supplies gases, equipment engineering and homecare services, while Air Products provides respiratory treatments and related services at patients’ homes.

Homecare is the term applied to medical services relating to the treatment of patients in settings other than hospitals and includes respiratory services, such as oxygen therapy, sleep therapy and ventilation services.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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