Friday 22nd Feb 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

BOC board rejects bid from Linde AG

Shares in UK industrial gases firm BOC have jumped by nearly 20 per cent after the company said it had rejected a bid approach from German rival Linde AG.

In a recent statement the BOC Group said that the unsolicited proposal from Linde AG was: “…subject to a number of pre-conditions including financing, anti-trust approvals and due diligence.” The Board met with its advisors and unanimously rejected the proposal because of Linde’s “failure to value fully the growth prospects of BOC.” When asked to elaborate a spokesman for BOC Group said that he was unable to comment further at the present.

BOCs shares have risen 219 pence, or 19 per cent, at 1370p. Linde employs about 41,000 workers worldwide and is the largest builder of hydrogen production facilities in the world.

In addition to its gas division, the company also has a business which makes forklift trucks and warehouse equipment. “The directors of BOC state their continuing confidence in the current strategy of the group to deliver growth and excellent returns to its shareholders as an independent company.”

The BOC Group, based in Guildford in Surrey, serves two million customers in more than 50 countries, and employs some 44,500 people worldwide.

Linde employs about 60 per cent of its 41,000 staff outside Germany, with UK sites including Basingstoke, West Bromwich, Aldershot and Merthyr Tydfil, and is the largest builder of hydrogen production facilities in the world.