Messer Invests €34.6 million in US
Half a year after acquiring North American assets compatriot industrial gases giant Linde had to sell to satisfy regulatory concerns about its merger with Praxair, Germany’s largest gases producer, Messer, has announced it will spend €34.6 million ($38 million) to build a new air separation plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The facility, which will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon, is due to start up in early 2021. It will supply industrial and medical grade gases in particular to the healthcare, chemical and food sectors as well as the glass and metal industries.
Jens Lühring, President and CEO of Messer Americas, said the new investment underscores the family-owned company’s commitment to strategic expansion in the US to meet growing market demand and strengthen its presence in the Midwest section of the country.
"We chose to invest in Indianapolis because of our proximity to our customers and the strong local economy, said Lühring, adding that Messer's goal for the American continent is to become the supplier of choice for industrial, medical and specialty gases in both North and South America and to offer its customers innovative and reliable solutions.
The German gases producer currently operates at six locations in Indiana, where it employs some 90 people. The new air separation unit is expected to create 23 new jobs by the end of 2021.
Messer’s renewed presence in the Americas is as part of MG Industries, a 58:42 joint venture with private equity group CVC Capital Partners. The $3.3 billion deal with Linde included 45 air separation plants, 18 carbon dioxide plants, 12 helium filling stations, a hydrogen liquefaction unit and 12 filling and distribution facilities for industrial and specialty gases.
Announcing the closing of the acquisition in March of this year, owner Stefan Messer said the new partnership with CVC would allow the Frankfurt-based gases producer to return to the Americas and again become a global player while at the same time consolidating its position as the largest family-run industrial gases specialist worldwide.