Completion of Air Liquide-Air Gas Deal Near
The US Federal Trade Commission has invited comments on its plan to approve an application by American Air Liquide Holdings, US subsidiary of the French-based industrial gases giant, to complete the required divestment of assets worth around $270 million in preparation for the takeover of US rival Airgas.
The $13.4 billion takeover agreement was approved in principle in May, subject to certain divestments. In June, the FTC approved the sale of 18 air separation units in 16 locations, two nitrous oxide production facilities, four liquid carbon dioxide plants in four states, and three of the Airgas retail packaged welding gas stores in the state of Alaska to Matheson Tri-Gas, a subsidiary of Japan’s Taiyo Nippon Sanso.
Up for approval now is Air Liquide’s plan to sell the production of bulk liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) to Aspen Air, a Canadian industrial gases manufacturer and distributor based at Calgary. The deal would include two facilities in Iowa that also produce dry ice.
Following expiration of a 30-day public comment period, that runs until Aug. 25, 2016, the FTC will most likely give the go-ahead. With the Airgas takeover, Air Liquide will regain its position as world’s largest producer of industrial gases, after losing the status to Germany’s Linde as it acquired British rival BOC in 2007.