Seemingly keen to expand its presence in the developing Middle East region, Air Liquide has announced that it has acquired Indian-based Pure Helium, a leading international supplier of liquid and gaseous helium.

Pure Helium supplies liquid and gaseous helium, helium-based mixtures and argon, with the acquisition strengthening both Air Liquide’s portfolio of helium services and also the company’s position in the Middle East market.

Global helium consumption is linked to strong growth in industrial demand. In the Middle East and India, this market is growing by more than 10% a year, driven by the growing demand from hospitals and oil activities. The noble gas is used in a large number of applications including MRI, medical and surgical treatments, electronics, off-shore oil activities, deep-sea diving, and welding among others.

Strengthened position
Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Air Liquide Group and responsible for the Middle East zone, explained, “This acquisition efficiently complements Air Liquide’s helium range. It strengthens our position in the Middle East and allows us to better meet the strong demand in this market. It contributes to our strategy of accelerating growth, and opens up promising opportunities for expansion in this region.”

Anand Mehta, founder and former chairman of Pure Helium, was equally buoyant as he said, “I am particularly pleased with the acquisition of Pure Helium by a leader like Air Liquide, which has proved its reliability, efficiency and ability to consider the needs of its customers throughout the world.”

Established in Mumbai (India) in 1985, Pure Helium is also present in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt. With 40 employees, the company’s turnover was approximately $20m in 2007.