Air Liquide is to acquire Airgas

Air Liquide, a world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, and Airgas, one of the leading suppliers of industrial gases and associated products and services in the U.S., announced an agreement under which Air Liquide will acquire Airgas for $ 13.4 billion.

In the transaction, Airgas will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Liquide. Combining Air Liquide and Airgas will bring together two highly complementary businesses to deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers in North America and around the world.

In the U.S., Airgas’ leadership in the packaged gases business and associated products and services and Air Liquide’s strong footprint in complementary activities will increase the scope and competitiveness of the combined companies’ product offering. This acquisition gives Air Liquide a greater presence in the U.S. market, the largest for industrial gases worldwide, and will ideally position Air Liquide for future growth.

In addition, there is potential for further growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s technologies.The combination builds on Air Liquide’s longstanding track record of successfully operating in the U.S. and will benefit from Airgas’ unmatched national presence and its more than 1 million customers in the U.S., as well as from its leading customer-facing platform including e-commerce and telesales capabilities.

The combined entity will be able to better serve customers with the most advanced multi-distribution networks in the U.S. and more competitive product offerings thanks to an integrated upstream-downstream model.The acquisition will reinforce Air Liquide’s global leadership position, increasing Gas & Services sales by around + 30 %.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will be the leader in North America, complementing number one positions in Europe, Africa/Middle East and Asia-Pacific. It will also be number one in Industrial Merchant and Large Industries, and co-number one in Electronics, worldwide.

Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said: “This combination offers significant benefits for all of our stakeholders due to the highly complementary nature of the two businesses. It also advances Air Liquide’s vision to lead the industry and deliver long-term performance while acting responsibly. This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient U.S. market, and offers continuous growth opportunities. Airgas is the industry leader in U.S. packaged gases with a customer-centric organization and we are confident in our ability to successfully combine operations. Airgas is a unique partner, and together we will continue to advance our strategy based on profitable growth and innovation over the long-term.”

He added, “We have the highest respect for Airgas, its organization, its employees and its stakeholders, as well as for what they have achieved over more than 30 years. We look forward to working with their teams as we move to complete the transaction and combine both businesses.”

(Source: Air Liquide)

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