Air Products to Buy CO2 Producer ACP Europe

20.02.2018 -

US industrial gases producer Air Products has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ACP Europe (ACP), the European continent’s largest independent carbon dioxide (CO2) producer.

The  Pennsylvania-based company said the buy will complement its European CO2 capabilities in core geographies where it already provides industrial gases. Closing of the transaction is conditional upon regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Neither financial terms nor a projected closing date were disclosed.

Based in Belgium, ACP has 120 employees at four liquid CO2 production plants installed in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Poland. According to the trade journal gasworld, the four  facilities can produce around 500,000 t/y a year. The company also operates two dry ice production locations across Europe, supplying a variety of applications including beverage, chemical, food and horticulture.

Air Products said the buyout will enable it to serve existing customers better in Europe and tap new industrial gas growth opportunities. It will also help the company to open up newer regions of Europe as a liquid carbon dioxide supplier.

Currently, the US gases producer can offer a broad portfolio of industrial gases across 13 European countries including liquid CO2, from its operations in Spain and Poland. Through the acquisition of ACP, it will be able to build further density throughout continental Europe.

Ivo Bols, president, Industrial Gases–Europe and Africa at Air Products, said the deal with ACP fulfils his company’s criteria of investing in its core industrial gas business where it creates significant value for shareholders. “Together, with our complementary product portfolio and customer-centric approach, this acquisition will enable us to better serve our existing customers and pursue new industrial gas growth opportunities,” he said.

The acquisition will also further concentrate the global gases market and add to the concerns advanced by the European Commission in announcing an in-depth probe into the merger plans of Germany’s Linde and Praxair of the US last week. The Commission did not identify CO2 as a crucial product, but noted that this deal will remove one player from the market.