German industrial gas giant Linde has confirmed that it has made an approach to British BOC.

The company says that the basis for this approach is the strong industrial logic of a combination. The two groups are complementary in terms of products and regions and together have the potential to create a leading industrial gases business. Given the complementary fit of the two groups, Linde is confident that any anti-trust issues should be capable of being satisfactorily resolved.

Friendly approach

Linde emphasises that its approach is friendly. The company said: \\$quot;The two companies have enjoyed excellent relations over many years and Linde will continue to look for the support of BOC\\$quot;s board and management.

'The approach is based on an all cash offer at 1,500p per share and is subject to a limited number of standard pre-conditions which Linde believes can be readily satisfied.'

Linde says it is well advanced in arranging financing for a possible transaction and its banks are highly confident that such financing can be arranged rapidly.

BOC rejects

BOC said, however, yesterday it had rejected a bid approach from rival Linde.

But, despite the group's rejection of Linde's initial bid proposal, the London City scented that Linde would probably come back with a higher offer.

The City also predicts that French Air Liquide, which tried six years ago to take over BOC, may have another tilt at the group.

Gasworld will report any further announcements immediately at its online news portal.