Air Products today announced a definitive agreement to purchase a 67% majority stake South America’s largest independent industrial gas company Indura S.A. for $884m.

The transaction is expected to enhance Air Products’ growth opportunities in the region and be accretive to Air Products earnings per share in fiscal 2013.

It is expected to close by early July, subject to certain closing conditions. Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, Indura is the largest independent industrial gas company in Latin America. This investment will position Air Products as the second largest industrial gas producer in Latin America, a region second in growth only to Asia.

By taking a majority stake in Indura, Air Products will extend its Latin American presence to 12 countries, enabling the company to benefit from greater economies of scale and a large talent pool to service multinational customers in more markets.

“Air Products’ investment in Indura continues our strategy to expand our global presence in high growth regions with strong local partners,” said John E. McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“This is a winning partnership offering double-digit growth with solid returns. Indura is a very well known and respected brand that represents a quality business, strong leadership and dedicated employees. By leveraging Indura’s local leadership and Air Products’ global expertise, we expect to better serve key global customers and further expand our growth opportunities in one of the world’s most promising markets.”

added John McGlade.

“Joining the Air Products family will position Indura to benefit from the technologies, experience and best practices of a successful global player in the industrial gases industry. This will allow us to leverage our market knowledge and long-term relationships we have established in Latin America,” said Hernán Briones Goich, chairman of Invesa.

Invesa is the holding company of the Briones family which today is the controlling shareholder of Indura and will be an important partner to Air Products in this investment. 

Indura has annual sales of $478m and its integrated gas and retail business includes liquid bulk, small on-sites and packaged gases.

The company has more than 2300 employees, over 20 production plants, over 40 filling sites and more than 100 retail outlets in the countries of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Air Products already has existing interests in Latin America, through its wholly-owned businesses in Argentina, Brazil and its joint venture, Grupo Infra, headquartered in Mexico.