More gas for Air Liquide

Air Liquide has signed an agreement with the German group Messer Griesheim to acquire six of its subsidiaries involved in the production of industrial gases.

The six subsidiaries are to be divested together by Messer Griesheim as part of a program to reduce its debt.

The amount of the transaction is financed through the assumption of debts existing in the acquired companies, valued around 185 million euros.

The subsidiaries, which are located in South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, South Korea have generated total revenue of about 100 million euros in 2000.

Once interest expenses and projected synergy gains are factored in, the acquisition is expected to make a positive contribution to the Group’s net earnings by 2002.

Air Liquide is in the process of seeking approvals of minority shareholders in some countries and those from competition authorities in South Africa, Brazil and South Korea, where such approval is necessary.

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