Acquisition of the firm Lurgi

April 17, 2007

Air Liquide announces the acquisition of the engineering firm Lurgi, which is owned by Global Engineering Alliance (GEA Group AG), based on an equity value of approximately 550 million euros, which is equivalent to an enterprise value of 200 million euros after including the assumption of Lurgi’s cash position as well as its pension and other liabilities. The transaction is subject to approval by the European and American competition authorities.

This acquisition is an important step to achieve the new objectives recently announced by the Group. Notably, it will enable the acceleration of growth in the Large Industries World Business Line, strengthening our strengthening the Group’s resources in hydrogen markets and giving it access to the Coal to Liquid* (CTL) and Coal to Chemicals* (CTC) sectors.

With nearly 1,300 employees and total sales of around 850 million euros in 2006, Lurgi, a German-based company, has a particularly large portfolio of technologies, from producing hydrogen and synthesis gas to biofuel production processes (bio-ethanol, bio-diesel). Lurgi is one of the world leaders in these technologies, processes which consume large quantities of oxygen. Its main engineering centers are situated in Germany, Poland, United States, India and South Africa.

Air Liquide today has a great depth of expertise with five Engineering and Construction centers in the major markets around the world (France, United States, Japan, China and India) with a total of 1,500 employees. With these resources, Air Liquide designs, develops and builds its own gas production units. Gas production units are also designed and manufactured for external customers, generating total third party sales in 2006 of 380 million euros. In this regard, Air Liquide has been a regular partner with Lurgi for many years, with the most recent jointly-developed projects undertaken in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

François Darchis, Member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee and responsible for Engineering and Construction, declared: The acquisition of Lurgi gives us the capacity to support the important growth of the Group. It also enables us to widen our technical competencies. Doubling in size and thanks to the complementary nature of our respective geographic presences, as well as our technology portfolios, our Engineering division will be better placed to ensure the design and manufacture of very large units, which are especially important in new markets. Our capacity to innovate, in R&D as well as technology, is a key growth driver for the Group.

*The two processes Coal to Liquid (CTL) and Coal to Chemicals (CTC) enable the transformation of coal into liquid hydrocarbons (CTL) or basic chemical products (CTC). The first step in both these processes consists of gasifying the coal using oxygen and steam.

John Glen, the Group’s Vice-President Finance and Administration, and François Darchis, Senior Vice-President, responsible for Engineering and Construction, will hold a conference call on Tuesday 17 April, at 11.00 am.

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