Linde has acquired the Turkey based industrial gases producer Karbogaz A.S. Karbogaz.

The company, which was formed in 1984, is a joint venture company between Ismail Aytemiz of Istanbul and US industrial gases producer Praxair. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but it is subject to the approval of the Turkish competition authorities.

"With the acquisition of Karbogaz, we are strengthening our position in a growing region and complementing our European leadership," said Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the executive board of Linde AG and responsible for the business segment Gas and Engineering.
"Karbogaz is one of the most important industrial gases suppliers in Turkey, and the regional market leader in the thriving carbon dioxide (C02) segment."

"We are pleased to sell our shares in Karbogaz to another leading company in the industrial gases industry," said Ismail Aytemiz, chairman of the Aytemiz Group. "This sale is equally in line with our strategic goal to concentrate on the petroleum business and to provide our customers with a high quality service."

In fiscal year 2005, Istanbul-based Karbogaz generated sales of approximately €27m, and currently employs a staff of around 230.

Aytemiz Petroleum, which has been one of the leading petroleum companies in Turkey for 44 years, is also active in the natural gas, lube oil and oil additives industry. Aytemiz Petroleum Group currently employs 225 people generating sales of €720m in 2005.