A signal of The Linde Group’s further strengthening in the Australian gas and energy market has been delivered, as news emerged from Munich of the company’s acquisition the remaining shares in LPG company Elgas.

Discussing the announcement with gasworld, Linde noted the importance of the profit to be gained from ‘the synergies between the LPG business and our existing, strong industrial gases business’.

The group has acquired the remaining 50% of shares in Sydney-based Elgas, at an equity value of €126m. Established in 1984, the company had been a 50/50 Joint Venture between BOC Limited, a member of The Linde Group, and AGL Energy (AGL).

Significant synergies
Elgas is the biggest marketer of LPG (Liquefied Propane Gas) in Australia and operates the country’s largest LPG storage facility at Port Botany in Sydney. The company achieved sales of around €255m in the 2007 financial year and currently employs around 460 people.

Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG, commented, “This transaction will enable us to strengthen our position as the leading supplier of gases in Australia.”

Having pressed the story further, gasworld found that the group was keen to allude to Reitzle’s further comments as the significant factor of the announcement.

“We will profit from the synergies between the LPG business and our strong industrial gases business. We can leverage the Elgas infrastructure and management to expand and improve our combined LPG business across Australia and New Zealand,” Reitzle had said.

In the operating segment South Pacific & Africa, Linde achieved sales of €1.284bn in the 2007 financial year. Within the operating segment, Linde’s gases sales in the South Pacific increased by 11% to reach €755m last year.