Messer, the largest privately managed industrial gas specialist, has announced both the purchase and sale of companies in Europe.

Effective from today (the 12th of March 2014) Messer has purchased 100% of the shares in Praxair S.A.S from Praxair Euroholding, Spain. As a result, Messer will acquire a company with its employees as well as its fixed assets and customer contacts. “Through this repositioning we are strengthening our activities specifically in our local market, Europe,” emphasises Stefan Messer, owner and CEO of Messer Group GmbH.

Purchasing Praxair S.A.S. will enable Messer to further expand its strong competitive position on the French market for industrial and medical gases. The newly acquired activities are to be integrated quickly into the existing business in order to achieve the planned increases in efficiency as soon as possible. Synergies are anticipated above all from economies of scale in the production and distribution sectors and also in administration.

The fixed assets include, among other things, two air separation plants in which industrial gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon are obtained from the air, several production plants on existing customer sites, three filling plants for gases in cylinders, and gas distribution equipment such as tankers, customer tanks and steel cylinders.

“The production plants and production locations complement our existing structures ideally,” says Nicolas Denis, General Manager of Messer France and of the newly acquired company. The product portfolio of the newly purchased activities strengthens the range of products Messer offers. The new locations and the product range acquired are designed to further enhance and expand the supply to customers in France.

Elsewhere in Europe, and also effective from today, Messer has sold its shares in Messer Italia S.p.A, which is headquartered in Settimo Torinese.

The purchaser is the company Rivoira S.p.A., which the gas producer Praxair is the major shareholder. In addition to the plants for gas production and distribution, Rivoira will take over the Italian company’s 70 employees.

Messer Italia was founded in Milan in 1980 under the name Messer Griesheim Italiana S.p.A, and since 2004 was a 100% subsidiary of Messer Group GmbH, which has its head office in Bad Soden near Frankfurt am Main.