The Messer Group has announced that on 4th July, the privately managed industrial gas specialist signed a contract of purchase to take over the 51% majority share of Asco Carbon Dioxide Ltd. in New Zealand, building on its already strong interest in the Asco businesses.

Asco constructs CO2 production plants in New Zealand primarily for markets in which carbon dioxide cannot be obtained as a by-product from industrial plants or agriculture.

Messer took over the majority share in Asco Kohlensäure AG from previous sole owner Thomas Trachsel on 1st June 2007 and has now acquired the majority share in Asco Carbon Dioxide in New Zealand. Trachsel, to date also the sole owner of Asco Carbon Dioxide, will continue to have a 49% share in the company’s business in New Zealand.

The head office of Asco Kohlensäure AG is in Romanshorn, Switzerland, where
blasting systems for cleaning using dry ice are produced, along with the dry ice itself. As of 1st September 2008, the two parts of the company will be reunited and become one of the affiliated companies of the Messer entrepreneurial family.

“In future, Asco in New Zealand will focus on delivering to locations where, for logistical reasons, carbon dioxide needs to be produced on site for use in all sectors, above all in food processing and industry,” commented Hans-Gerd Wienands, CFO of the Messer Group.

Trachsel had apparently pointed out to the employees of Asco Carbon Dioxide Ltd. that the integration of Asco Kohlensäure AG and Asco Carbon Dioxide Ltd. into the Messer and MEC Groups, will strengthen Asco’s market position on a long-term basis.

This was affirmed by Wienands as he added, “We consider it important to offer our customers all the products and services which are relevant for our sector from a single source.”

In addition to industrial gas producer Messer, entrepreneur Stefan Messer also owns the Messer Eutectic Castolin Gruppe (MEC).

The umbrella of MEC covers Messer Cutting & Welding, a specialist for thermal cutting, oxy-fuel technology and gas supply systems, Castolin Eutectic, a provider of wear protection and joining technology, and BIT Analytical Instruments, a contract manufacturer for precision medical instruments.