Just one month after Air Liquide announced it was evaluating the possible divestment of its subsidiary Aqua Lung the corporation has entered into “exclusive negotiations” with a leading European private equity firm.

The Tier One player has revealed it is in talks with Montagu Private Equity – a company that has been investing in European businesses for over 40 years.

Air Liquide claims the divestment would “best support Aqua Lung’s next phase of growth and enable it to deliver on its strategic roadmap,” as well as helping to implement its own NEOS development strategy for the 2016-2020 period.

Since its $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas in May, the Tier One corporation has increased its focus on its Gas & Services activities, which Air Liquide hinted as being the reason behind the latest divestment discussions. Its Airgas takeover increased Gas & Services sales in the US by 30% as well as firmly establishing Air Liquide as the largest player in the North American market.

The transaction would be subject to the final and definitive agreement between the parties as well as customary conditions and provisions.