Air Products has announced it has completed the acquisition of the industrial gas business of BOC Gazy Sp z o.o. from The Linde Group for €370m ($503m).

With this transaction, Air Products is now the leading industrial gas supplier in Central Europe's fastest growing economy. Air Products announced on January 8 its intention to acquire the BOC Gazy business, and has since received clearance from the European and Polish regulatory authorities.

$quot;This is a very compelling investment for Air Products,$quot; said John McGlade, president and chief operating officer. $quot;We now have the assets, infrastructure, people and management talent to take full advantage of the opportunities that come from having the leading position in one of the world's fastest growing economies.$quot;

The business, headquartered in Warsaw, has approximately 750 employees, five major industrial gas plants and six cylinder transfill facilities serving customers across a diverse range of industries, including chemicals, steel and base metals, among others. Combined with Air Products' existing Polish business, 2006 sales were about €140m ($190m).