Something’s in the air

ASIDE from oxygen-quaffing mountaineers and scuba divers, few consumers give a thought to the normally stable world of making industrial gases. Yet the sector, essential for much other manufacturing, is now gripped by discussion of mega-mergers as big firms on either side of the Atlantic jostle for advantage.

This week brought renewed talk of a long-expected tie-up. Analysts have speculated for a while about a possible family reunion between Linde, a German firm with a market value of $30 billion, and Praxair, an American rival of similar value that is more profitable. Praxair originally sprang from its European parent over a century ago. The talks are at an early stage. A union would produce the leader in industrial gases, with a market share of about 40%.

It would suit the companies, less so consumers. Praxair does well selling gases for industrial use, chiefly in America. The food industry needs carbon dioxide, in fizzy drinks or to get caffeine from coffee, for example. Linde, in contrast, has expertise in the long-term growth area of gases for medical use. Supplying oxygen to hospitals is expected to be profitable as ageing…Continue reading

This post was originally published in the Economist.

Advertisements
Something’s in the air

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s