Air Products Leasing BV, a company of leading Tier One company Air Products, has signed a joint venture agreement with a major domestic player in Oman.

The ‘conditional agreement’ with Muscat Gases Company SOAG (MGC) paves the way for the US-based corporation to clinch a majority stake in the Omani company’s industrial gases business.

Under the deal, it is understood that MGC will transfer its industrial gases business to a new wholly owned subsidiary LLC and subsequently sell 70% of the share capital of the subsidiary LLC to Air Products.

The transaction has the approval of MGC’s Board of Directors but is still subject to the approval of shareholders, according to a release by the Muscat Securities Market.

Based in Seeb, MGC was established in 1983 to trade industrial gases throughout the Middle Eastern country. The company supplies industrial, medical and specialty gases and offers nitrogen purging, helium leak testing and cylinder requalification services.

According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the Omani industrial gases industry was valued at just over $70m in 2016. This development seeks to advance Air Products’ position in the country, as Senior Business Analyst James Barr explained, “Up until now, Air Products’ presence in Oman has been limited, with its only operation deriving from an onsite joint venture project located near Sohar.”

“Muscat gases are one of the largest domestic gas companies active in the country, holding an estimated market share of around 30%.”