Air Liquide has successfully completed the first step in refinancing its acquisition of Airgas – a financial deal that cost the industrial gas giant $10.3bn, or $13.4bn including all debt assumed.

The Tier One corporation has been issued a €3bn ($3.4bn) bond which refinances a portion of the $12bn bridge loan that was contracted in December 2015 from its main banks in connection with the acquisition.

A press release stated this bond will “continue to sustainably finance the group’s long-term growth.”

This contract involves the issuances of several bond tranches ranging from two to twelve years, with an average weight maturity of just over seven years. The completion of this transaction leaves the group with €10.6bn ($12bn) of outstanding bond issues.

The Air Liquide/Airgas transaction was officially completed on 23rd May, 2016, establishing the merged corporation the largest industrial gas company in the world. Globally, the combined business will generate annual sales of approximately $22bn and will serve over three million customers.

Air Liquide will announce its financial results for the first half of 2016 on 1st August.