Linde Sells Stake In BOC Edwards For $900 Million

Private-equity firm CCMP bought the maker of semiconductor components and vacuum pumps.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Linde AG, the world's biggest producer of industrial gases, said Monday it sold part of its BOC Edwards subsidiary to private equity firm CCMP Capital for $901 million.

The announcement came as the Wiesbaden-based company said it earned $2.37 billion in net profit in 2006, more than triple what it earned in 2005 as sales rose to $16.31 billion.

The deal to sell the unit of BOC Edwards, which was part of Britain's BOC Group PLC that Linde paid 12.4 billion euros for last year, is subject to regulatory approval.

Linde said that if New York-based CCMP moves to sell the operation it will pay the German company another $85.51 million. BOC Edwards makes semiconductor components and vacuum pumps.

The German gas and engineering group also said it expects to see sales rise in 2007 and aims to reach an operating profit of $3.95 billion by 2010. Last year, the company's operating profit reached $2.89 billion, up 30 percent from the year before.

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