Further acquisitions in Healthcare

February 10, 2009

Both the diagnosis and treatment of chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), are now much improved. Home therapy is an option and is developing rapidly worldwide. Air Liquide serves several hundred thousand patients, as required by their medical prescription, thus being the industry’s European leader and one of the world’s prime providers. Having consolidated its positions in Europe over the last few years (Germany, the United Kingdom) and started its homecare business in Asia (China), Air Liquide is further strengthening its network through targeted acquisitions.

In the Netherlands, Air Liquide has just completed the acquisition of Comcare medical, a company specializing in the treatment of OSA. Comcare medical treats 7,300 patients, generating revenues of roughly €3 million in 2008. By doing this, the Group strengthened its position in the Dutch health sector. Comcare medical’s business complements Air Liquide’s existing activities, both in terms of targeted conditions and regional presence. The leader in Belgium and Germany, Air Liquide will now gain national coverage in the Netherlands.

In Tunisia, Air Liquide has just acquired Air Separation, a company specializing in respiratory care, thus strengthening its positions in North Africa. Air Liquide now treats almost one thousand patients in Tunisia, for a wide array of respiratory pathologies.

Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President in charge of the Healthcare World Business Line and a member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, declared: "These regular and targeted acquisitions in Healthcare illustrate our strategy. The ongoing expansion of our international network is strengthening the leadership of our medical business. We are preparing it for forthcoming demographic changes by focusing on the needs of patients and developing new services. Healthcare is a solid and promising growth driver for the Group."

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