Reaffirming the five-point plan highlighted when the then new CEO Seifi Ghasemi joined Air Products took control just over a year ago, more changes are on the way for the company.

Its Board of Directors has approved the intention to fully separate its Materials Technologies business via a tax-free spin-off to its shareholders – due for completion before September 2016, subject to typical regulatory approvals.

“I am very pleased that our Board of Directors has approved this strategic move. This separation will provide shareholders ownership in two leading and focused companies while providing the opportunity to value our Industrial Gases and Materials Technologies businesses independently. We believe a tax-free spin-off of the Materials Technologies business will create significant shareholder value,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO at Air Products.

This strategic decision will allow Air Products’ Industrial Gases and the Materials Technologies businesses to leverage their respective critical competencies and enhance their competitive positions.

The company believes the result of the spin-off will be two best-in-class public companies with distinct business models, capital requirements and growth profiles. The decision was made after an extensive review examining the strategic options for the Materials Technologies business by Air Products’ Board of Directors and management.

“The intent to separate is consistent with our management philosophy and the five-point plan we have discussed on many occasions over the past year and emphasized at our investor conference. It will allow us to take another step in pursuit of our ultimate goal, to become the safest and most profitable industrial gas company in the world, providing excellent service to our customers,” said Ghasemi.

“Our management team has demonstrated the ability to innovate, improve our underlying performance and rapidly respond to changing market dynamics to deliver profitable growth,” said Guillermo Novo, executive vice president for Materials Technologies.

Novo will be CEO of the yet-to-be-named company at the completion of the spin-off. Ghasemi will be the non-executive chairman of the new company, while maintaining his current roles as Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products.