Air Liquide said it will propose to adopt a single board of directors at the next annual general meeting in May 2006.

The company said it had set up the dual structure only to facilitate the transition to a younger management team, when Alain Joly, then chairman of the board of directors, stepped down as the company's head in favour of Benoit Potier. Joly remained at the company as chairman of the supervisory board.

Joly, said: 'I am convinced that this organisation is consistent with the values of the group and is the right model to ensure the future for the company and its shareholders.'

According to the company the principles of respecting shareholders\\$quot; rights, ensuring the competence and independence of its board members, and the clarity in its delegation of authority existing in the current structure will of course be maintained under the proposed organisation.