Homecare acquisition in the UK

October 1, 2007

Air Liquide becomes a major player in the UK homecare market.

After entering the UK homecare and medical gases market in May with the acquisition of Linde UK, Air Liquide goes a step further with the acquisition of the respiratory homecare business of Allied Healthcare for approximately €51 million in cash, thus giving the Group a national footprint in the growing British market.

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has required an increased quality in homecare services, thus attracting Air Liquide’s interest. Today, patients in Britain are mainly treated for COPD in their home. In other European countries, the Group has developed an enlarged offer covering more treatments, respiratory or not, in the same home setting. Allied Healthcare grew a respiratory homecare business serving 14,000 patients.

With this acquisition, the combined Air Liquide businesses will serve over 20,000 patients in England and Northern Ireland, particularly in the densely populated area of the South East, with homecare sales of around €34 million.

Commenting on these acquisitions, Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President in charge of the Healthcare World Business Line and member of the Executive Committee of the Air Liquide Group, declared: This acquisition is an excellent base for Air Liquide – which now becomes number two in the British market – to further develop homecare services across the country. It fits exceptionally well in our homecare plan to implement an extensive network in the growing European markets, to the benefit of our customers.

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