Air Liquide Acquiring German Engineering Company Lurgi

Industrial gas company buying Lurgi for $745.5 million; acquisition will strengthen Air Liquide's presence in hydrogen market.

Air Liquide SA, a supplier of industrial gases, announced Tuesday its acquisition of Lurgi, an engineering company owned by Global Engineering Alliance (GEA Group AG), for approximately $745.5 million. The transaction will be worth about $271.1 million after Air Liquide assumes Lurgi's cash position, including pension and other liabilities.

According to Air Liquide, the acquisition will help the company to strengthen its resources in the hydrogen market, giving it access to the Coal to Liquid (CTL) and Coal to Chemicals (CTC) sectors. 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).

Lurgi, based in Germany, has approximately 1,300 employees and had sales in 2006 of nearly $1.2 billion. The company's technologies include producing hydrogen and synthesis gas to biofuel production processes (bio-ethanol, bio-diesel). They have engineering operations in Germany, Poland, India, South Africa and the U.S.

Air Liquide has five Engineering and Construction centers in France, Japan, China, India, and the U.S. with a total of 1,500 employees.