The European Commission has approved of Linde AG’s purchase of Air Products’ Continental-European homecare business. The deal, which has an enterprise value of €590m and was given unconditional approval yesterday 18th April, is expected to be closed by the end of this month.

The business being bought achieved annual sales of €210m in 2011 and the transaction comprises of Air Products’ homecare operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain – totalling around 850 employees.

The agreements cover the sale of Air Products’ patient-based oxygen-therapy, sleep-therapy and infusion-therapy services in Continental Europe.

“Healthcare is one of our three strategic growth pillars. It has proven to be a stable business and builds on the mega-trend of changing demographics.”

Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG.

“With this transaction we are expanding our competencies and scaling-up our product and service offering, delivering quality care to around 260,000 additional patients. This puts us in a very good position to continue to drive innovation and develop new services.”

“The acquisition will improve our position in a structural growth market and will make us one of the market leaders in the European respiratory homecare business.”

“Healthcare is one of our three strategic growth pillars. It has proven to be a stable business and builds on the mega-trend of changing demographics”

Air Products Chairman, President and CEO John McGlade responded in a statement: “Over many years, our Continental European Homecare team has run a successful business, helping us to build several leadership positions. With the more recent trends towards concentrators and non-oxygen therapies, we feel it is no longer a natural fit with our core gases business.”

“Our growth strategy lies in the energy, environmental and emerging markets in which we continue to see significant opportunities.”

 

gasworld understands that Air Products is now assessing several options with regards to its remaining Homecare interests in the UK, Ireland, Argentina and Brazil.

Air Products will continue to operate these businesses as part of its portfolio, competing to win new business and providing quality patient care. More broadly, Healthcare continues to offer profitable opportunities through the supply of merchant gases and related services to hospitals and other care providers.