The industrial gases specialist Messer and CVC Capital Partners Fund VII ("CVC") today concluded an agreement with Linde AG to acquire the majority of Linde's gases business in North America and certain business activities in South America.

With approximately 5,100 employees, the acquired North and South American companies generated 2017 revenues of USD 1.7 billion (EUR 1.4 billion) and EBITDA of just over USD 360 million (EUR 305 million). The purchase price of USD 3.3 billion (EUR 2.8 billion) will be subject to customary adjustments at closing. The transaction is subject to the completion of the planned merger of the two industrial gases firms, Praxair and Linde, and the approval by the relevant cartel authorities.

The joint venture between Messer and CVC Fund VII will be named MG Industries and will operate under the Messer brand. As part of the transaction Messer, the world's largest privately managed specialist for industrial gases, will contribute its Western European operating companies into MG Industries. These operations in Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Denmark and Germany employ 780 people and generated 2017 revenues of EUR 334 million. With 5,675 employees worldwide, Messer achieved 2017 revenues in excess of EUR 1.2 billion.

"In creating this strategic partnership, we are seizing a unique opportunity to return to the North and South American markets and create a global player in the industrial gases sector", said Stefan Messer, owner and CEO of the Messer Group, with headquarters in Bad Soden, Germany. In the course of its restructuring in 2004, the Messer Group sold its North American holdings to the French Air Liquide SA. "Through our industry expertise and strong engineering and application know-how, as well as the operational expertise and global network provided by CVC, we will continue to grow the acquired businesses together with its highly experienced and motivated employees."

Alexander Dibelius, Managing Partner and Head of DACH at CVC added: "This is an exciting opportunity to create a new global player in the attractive industrial gases sector. We are delighted to be partnering with Messer and the Messer family with whom we have a long-standing, trusted relationship for years. Their engineering competencies and application know-how will, amongst others, be critical aspects in further growing the acquired businesses in the future."