U.S. FTC clears Linde acquisition of BOC

July 24--The clearance is subject to certain divestitures to address FTC concerns relating to atmospheric gases and wholesale bulk liquid helium.

July 24--The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cleared the proposed acquisition by Linde AG, Wiesbaden, of The BOC Group plc, Windlesham, UK.

The clearance is subject to certain divestitures to address FTC concerns relating to atmospheric gases and wholesale bulk liquid helium. As a condition to FTC clearance, Linde had agreed to divest eight air separation units in the U.S. It has also agreed to divest three liquid helium purchase agreements with suppliers in the U.S., Russia, and Poland as well as associated assets. These divestitures correspond to a sales volume of approximately 180 million euro in the year ended December 31, 2005.

The offer to the BOC shareholders will shortly be launched, by means of the posting of the scheme document. The consent of the High Court to the dispatch of the scheme document has been obtained. Completion of the offer is expected in September.

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