Air Liquide has today submitted a public repurchase offer for the shares of SOAEO to the French financial markets authority (AMF).

This follows Air Liquide’s simplified public offer for SOAEO shares on 14 October 2005, at the conclusion of which Air Liquide now holds directly or indirectly, 98.2 per cent of SOAEO’s capital

Air Liquide will propose to SOAEO shareholders a public offer of €145 for each SOAEO share. At the conclusion of this offer, the SOAEO shares not then in Air Liquide’s possession will be transferred to Air Liquide compensated by an indemnity identical to the offer price of the mandatory purchase offer (145€ for each SOAEO share). SOAEO shares will then no longer be quoted.

This offer is the final stage of a financial operation, which will allow better operational integration of SOAEO’s activities within the group in Asia.