The Messer Group has acquired its competitor Air Products’ shares in Messer Carburos and as a result, the Spanish subsidiary is wholly owned by Messer and will be renamed Messer Iberica de Gases.

The acquisition of the shares, as of December 2007, is part of the Messer Group’s strategy to invest in its core markets of Europe and Asia, and further underlines its position as an independent, privately managed industrial gas producer with Stefan Messer
at the helm as owner and CEO. Additionally, in the Spanish province of Tarragona,
Messer is currently investing €40m in one of Spain’s largest air separation plants, which will go into operation in July 2008.

Messer Carburos was founded 37 years ago, with a one third stake in the company held each by the then chemical group Hoechst, as well as the industrial gas producers Messer Griesheim and Carburos Metálicos, the Spanish subsidiary of Air Products. Following the construction of the third production facility for air gases in the chemicals and petrochemicals industrial complex in Tarragona in the mid-1990’s, the air separation plant was sold to co-owner Air Products in 1996 in return for a reduced stake in the company.

The changed business strategy of Hoechst, after its merger with Aventis at the
end of the 1990’s, led to the sale of its share in Messer Carburos. Since then,
the Messer Group has held a 90% stake in the Spanish company and for the first time since the company was established in 1970, the Spanish subsidiary is now wholly owned by Messer.

Messer is one of the leading industrial gas companies, and is active in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia and also Peru, with over 60 operating companies.