Further to the announcement yesterday that BOC had received a £7.6m takeover approach from Linde, the German gas company stressed today that it was a ‘friendly’ offer.
In a statement, Linde say that: “The two companies have enjoyed excellent relations over many years and Linde will continue to look for the support of BOC’s board and management.” The approach is based on an all cash offer at 1,500p per share and is subject to a limited number of standard pre-conditions which Linde believes can be readily satisfied. A person familiar with the offer had said that BOC had rejected the deal in part because of the deal’s structure.
Linde go on to say: “The basis for the approach is the strong industrial logic of a combination. The two groups are complementary in terms of products and regions and together have the potential to create a leading industrial gases business. Given the complementary fit of the two groups, Linde is confident that any anti-trust issues should be capable of being satisfactorily resolved.” Back in 2004, the two groups were involved in unsuccessful discussions for a merger, which would have rivalled the market leading Air Liquide.
“Linde is well advanced in arranging financing for a possible transaction and its banks are highly confident that such financing can be arranged rapidly.”
Although they also say that “Notwithstanding any of the above, there can be no certainty that any offer will be made or that a transaction will result even if the pre-conditions are satisfied or waived. A further announcement will be made in due course if appropriate.”