Though terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, it’s been revealed that The Linde Group has acquired 51% of the shares in the family-owned industrial gases company SIGAS (Saudi Industrial Gas Co. ltd) - awaiting approval from the relevant Saudi Arabian regulatory authorities.

SIGAS, which employs around 400 people, is the second biggest industrial gases company in Saudi Arabia and achieved sales of around €28m in the 2007 financial year. The industrial gases market in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by more than 10% per annum and is thought to be of something of a dynamic nature.

Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, commented, “We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with one of the leading industrial gas companies of the dynamic Saudi Arabian market.”

“This geographical expansion of our gases business combined with the strong presence of our Engineering Division in the whole Arabian Peninsula will fundamentally strengthen our position in a highly attractive region and demonstrates our commitment to the area,” added Belloni.

Linde’s commitment to the wider Middle East region is indeed increasingly evident, with the SIGAS deal coming just days after the announcement of further investment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Linde, in partnership with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), will be constructing two large ASU’s through the joint venture Elixier in Abu Dhabi, with total investment costs amounting to approximately $800m.