FTC clears Linde’s proposed acquisition of BOC
The proposed acquisition by Linde AG (Wiesbaden, Germany) of The BOC Group plc (Windlesham, U.K.) has been cleared by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The clearance is subject to certain divestitures to address FTC concerns relating to atmospheric gases and wholesale bulk liquid helium. As a condition to FTC clearance, Linde has agreed to divest eight air separation units in the United States, as well as three liquid helium purchase agreements with suppliers in the United States, Russia, and Poland, along with associated assets. These divestitures correspond to a sales volume of approximately 180 million euro in 2005. The Offer to the BOC shareholders will soon be launched, as the High Court has consented to the dispatching of the scheme document. Completion of the Offer is expected in September 2006. For more information, visit www.us.lindegas.com.