Air Liquide announces the success of its simplified public offer for the shares of SOAEO S.A., of which it will possess directly or indirectly 98.2 per cent of the capital.

According to the results of AMF (French financial market authority), 879,465 SOAEO shares were tendered.

These shares represent approximately 11.4 per cent of the capital of SOAEO, raising Air Liquide’s holdings from nearly 87 per cent to 98.2 per cent. The transfer of the titles should take place before 30 November. Hence, SOAEO shareholders who exchanged their shares for Air Liquide shares can expect to see them registered in early December.

Air Liquide will submit within several days a public repurchase offer for the outstanding SOAEO shares, followed by a compulsory repurchase offer, at the price of the initial €145 offer per SOAEO share. At the conclusion of the offer, SOAEO shares will no longer be publicly listed.

As of today the quotation of SOAEO is suspended until further notice.

The success of the offer will facilitate the development of Air Liquide in Asia, which represented 18 per cent of its sales in. It will also allow better operational integration of SOAEO’s activities, a simplified organisation and improved administrative and financial management of the group in the zone.

Benoît Potier, chairman of the management board, said: “We are happy that a majority of SOAEO’s shareholders decided to exchange their shares. These shareholders will benefit completely from developments of the group in Asia and in the rest of the world, and hence take advantage of our growth dynamic.”