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Air Products to Acquire Polish Industrial Gas Business from Linde
Monday January 8, 6:00 am ET

A teleconference will be held today at 9:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time. See details below. LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Air Products today announced it has reached definitive agreement with The Linde Group to acquire the industrial gas business of BOC Gazy Sp z o.o. for 370 million euros ($481 million). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. For regulatory purposes, BOC Gazy was required to be sold by Linde as a result of its purchase of The BOC Group plc in September 2006.

The BOC Gazy business had fiscal year 2006 sales of approximately 126 million euros ($164 million) and earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately 38 million euros ($50 million). The business has approximately 750 employees, five major industrial gas plants and six cylinder transfills serving customers across a diverse range of industries, including chemicals, steel and base metals, among others.

"We're taking advantage of a unique opportunity to become the number one industrial gas supplier in Central Europe's fastest growing economy," said Air Products Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Jones. "With manufacturing moving eastward in Europe and investment increasingly flowing in that direction, we intend to capitalize on the substantial growth potential in these markets. The business we are acquiring is very attractive and fits our strategy to become a higher growth and higher return company. It allows us to build critical mass and a low cost position in the region and be a bridge to serving a broad range of customers across Central and Eastern Europe."

Air Products operates in 15 countries throughout Europe, including the central and eastern European countries of the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Russia and Poland. Total European sales in Air Products' 2006 fiscal year were approximately $2.6 billion. Within Poland, Air Products has been a supplier of industrial gases since the early 1990s and has annual sales of about 11 million euros ($15 million).

Air Products plans to finance the transaction through euro debt.

Air Products serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and over 20,000 employees around the globe.

Source: Air Products

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