Air Liquide has announced it is considering various options to divest its welding business subsidiary Air Liquide Welding as it continues to implement its NEOS business strategy for the 2016-2020 period.
It is understood that different scenarios are being reviewed although preference is being given to discussions with an unspecified industrial partner at this stage.
The Tier One corporation cautioned, “There can be no assurance these scenarios will result in a divestment project. If such a project was confirmed, the employee representative bodies would be informed first and foremost.”
Air Liquide Welding is a key player in the manufacturing of welding and cutting technologies, offering a wide range of related equipment, consumables and services to the market. It has approximately 2,000 employees and generated a turnover of approximately €360m ($376.8m) in 2015.
Following the group’s $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas in May, Air Liquide has increased its focus on its Gas & Services activities, which Air Liquide hinted as being the reason behind the latest divestment discussions. The Airgas takeover increased the company’s Gas & Services sales in the US by 30% as well as firmly establishing Air Liquide as the largest player in the North American market.
This is the latest round in what has been a busy year of divestment negotiations for Air Liquide. In September, the company revealed that it was evaluating the sale of aquatic equipment subsidiary Aqua Lung before moving into an “exclusive negotiation” phase with a private equity company just one month later.