Linde has agreed to purchase the American speciality gases company Spectra Gases Inc, from the founding family Alvin and Andy Dietz.

The contractual parties have agreed to maintain silence about the purchase price. The transaction is valid pending the approval of the relevant antitrust agencies.

'This acquisition helps us to add systematically to our product portfolio in the speciality gases market, which is growing at an above-average rate,' says Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of Linde executive board and responsible for the business segment Gas and Engineering.

He continued: 'Spectra Gases is built on a technology platform of comprehensive specialised know-how and allows us access to market segments, in which we have not yet been strongly represented.'

Spectra Gases produces high purity speciality gases and chemicals used in manufacturing, research and analytical industries as well as speciality gas mixtures, which are used, for example, in the semiconductor industry and for excimer lasers. The company has an annual turnover of approximately 50 million euros with 200 employees worldwide.

Within the Linde Group, Spectra Gases is going to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Linde Gas, Inc. (USA).

Already in December 2004, Linde had expanded the speciality gases business by taking over the major part of the joint venture MNS Nippon Sanso. The joint venture supplies the European electronic industry with speciality gases such as silane or boroethane.