Technology company The Linde Group has sold its Colombian subsidiary Cryogas S.A. to Chilean industrial gases and welding company Indura S.A, at an enterprise value of around €90m and following the fulfilment of customary closing conditions.

The Linde Group had owned 73.95% of Cryogas and just recently acquired an additional 26% of the shares, all of which have been sold to Indura S.A. in this transaction. The divestiture was an antitrust condition imposed by the Colombian regulatory authorities (SIC) arising from the acquisition of The BOC Group plc by Linde, which became effective on 5th September 2006.

Cryogas S.A. employs a staff of around 400 and achieved sales of approximately €49m in the 2007 financial year, while Indura is the main gas and welding company in Chile. The company boasted a turnover of $211m in 2006, of which 68% was generated within its home country. Of this total sales value, 40% corresponds to gases, 40% to welding equipment and welding consumables and 15% is attributable to personal protection equipment.

Added to an employee register of 1,410 and Indura is clearly the market leader in Chile and an emerging force in the wider South American region.

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with more than 50,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2007 financial year it achieved sales of €12.3bn.

Meanwhile, gasworld will be taking a closer look at the buoyant South American industrial gases market, as it builds on the platform of conferences in the Middle East and the African continent with its conference in Chile later this year.

Natural resources are plentiful and the opportunities abundant. But what are the challenges ahead? And how will the market shape-up in the future? Gasworld will explore this flourishing region and its mountainous industrial gases business further throughout the conference, provisionally scheduled for November 2008.