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Linde:

Air Liquide Reorganize Joint Affair

Linde and Air Liquide Reorganize Structures of Asian Joint Ventures

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Linde Group AG, the world's largest maker of industrial gases, said Wednesday it agreed with Air Liquide SA to reorganize their joint ventures in Asia in a transaction that will see the German company take shares in a number of Asian businesses.

Linde will buy shares in the gas companies Malaysian Oxygen and Hong Kong Oxygen & Acetylene once regulatory clearance has been granted, the company said in a statement.

In return, Linde will sell its shares in Singapore Oxygen, Eastern Industrial Gases, Vietnam Industrial Gases and Brunei Oxygen to Air Liquide.

Upon closing of the transactions, Linde will receive a net purchase price of euro275 million (US$361.8 million).

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A realignment of the shareholdings in certain joint ventures in the Asia/Pacific region was one of the conditions imposed by the European Commission when it cleared Linde's acquisition of the BOC Group PLC last year.

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