Praxair Acquires Russian Gases Producer
U.S. industrial gases producer Praxair has acquired Russia's Volgograd Oxygen Factory (VOF), a leading regional producer and distributor of industrial gases, for an undisclosed sum. The Connecticut-based gases company said the latest in a series of investments in the key east European economic region "significantly strengthens" its merchant liquid and packaged gas business. VOF supplies more than 2.000 customers in industries including steel, aerospace, healthcare and food & beverage.
Up to now, Praxair has invested in four other major projects in Russia, with combined production capacity exceeding 3,500 t/d of gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and argon. In 2012, the company additionally acquired Volzhsky Azot, taking on two air separation units and a bulk and packaged gas business in the Volgograd region.
"The acquisition of VOF is consistent with our business strategy to continue to build production and distribution density in southern Russia," said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe. He said "immediate synergies" with Praxair's newly built air separation plant in Volgograd can be expected, as well as the integration of VOF into the company's existing regional infrastructure. Furthermore, it expects to profit from the Russian company's considerable packaged gas presence in the region.
Vladimir Pantyashin, general director of VOF, said his company sees Praxair as a "high-quality investor for the development of industrial gases in Russia."