Linde and BOC to Form Largest Industrial Gas Company
Wiesbaden, Germany and London, UK—Linde AG has agreed to make a preconditional offer to acquire The BOC Group for 1,600 pence ($28) per share, or approximately $14 billion. The offer represents a 39% premium over BOC’s January 23 share price. On January 24, Linde made public its 1,500 pence bid for the company, which was rejected. Together, the companies will have sales of €11.9 billion ($20.9 billion). According to Linde, the acquisition will give the company leading positions in the cylinders, liquid gas, onsite markets and industrial gases. Synergies are expected to result in €250 million annually to be fully realized in 2009. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. BOC supplies gas mixtures for gas chromatography and scientific applications, and its Edwards division manufactures vacuum pumps for laboratory instruments.