"Linde" and "The BOC Group" become "The Linde Group"

Date: 8 September 2006
Source: linde.com

Date: 8 September 2006

Linde AG announced its plans for the future, following the merger of Linde AG and The BOC Group plc. The merger, which took place on the 5th September 2006, will create a world-leading industrial gases and engineering company.

The new company will trade under the name "The Linde Group". A new brand has been designed based on the long tradition and corporate heritage of both companies, but which also represents the newly international character of the company. The name change applies to the group only. On the operating level, the Linde and BOC brands will remain unchanged.

Senior management team
The global aspiration of The Linde Group is also reflected in the senior ranks of the new company.

The management team has five members, led by Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle (57), President and Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. The Group's global functions also report directly to Professor Reitzle who is also responsible for the logistics division, Gist. In a matrix-structure of global and regional business units and business areas, Dr. Aldo Belloni (56), Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, is in charge of the Europe and Middle East regions as well as for the Global Business Unit Healthcare. He also manages the Engineering division and is responsible for Innovation Management. Kent Masters (45), previously on the board of BOC with responsibility for the Line of Business ISP, will take charge of the Americas and Africa, as well as of the On-site global business unit and the Liquid Gases business. Trevor Burt (48), until now responsible at BOC for North America, will manage the Asia/Pacific region as well as for the Packaged Gases and Electronics Gases businesses. Georg Denoke (41) will be in charge of finance comprising Controlling, Financial Statements, Treasury, Taxes, Mergers & Acquisitions and Procurement. Up to now, Mr. Denoke has been responsible for finance at Linde Gas. He follows Dr. Peter Diesch (51), who will be leaving the company of his own volition at the end of the year. Until then, Dr. Peter Diesch will remain on the board of Linde AG as before and support the sale or initial public offer of the company's Material Handling business segment. "Dr. Peter Diesch played a significant role in shaping the new strategic direction of The Linde Group", says Professor Wolfgang Reitzle. "His contribution to the merger with BOC has been particularly valuable. Linde AG thanks him for his exceptional achievements and outstanding support."

Company head offices
"The Linde Group" will have its head office in Munich which is also the location of the Executive Board. Some supporting functions will be located in Surrey, England, close to the current head office of the BOC Group.

By merging cross-group functions into one lean, efficient unit, the new company head office will quickly support realising expected synergies.

The merger of Linde and BOC into "The Linde Group" creates a world-leading industrial gases and engineering company with an annual pro forma turnover of approximately 12.7 billion euro, operating profit (EBIT) of 1.6 billion euro and approximately 53,000 employees worldwide.

"This is an historic day for Linde and BOC", said Professor Reitzle. "Both companies have a proud history streching back 100 years, and our paths have crossed many times before. Today we are finally coming together to form a world market leader, a true global player. We will approach the upcoming integration process in partnership with BOC, in order to create all the conditions necessary to extract the maximum potential from what is a perfect combination of companies."

BOC Edwards
Following the successful acquisition of the BOC Group, Linde intends to review strategic options for the divestment of the equipment businesses of the subsidiary BOC Edwards. It will retain the bulk and electronic gases elements of BOC Edwards and integrate them into The Linde Group organisation. The total revenues of the equipment businesses were approximately 800 million euro for the financial year ending September 2005.
BOC Edwards is a leading designer and manufacturer of vacuum pumps as well as instrumentation and systems for the semiconductor industry.
"The BOC Edwards equipment businesses have strong positions in their chosen markets, are successful businesses in their own right and will, we believe, prosper whatever their future ownership structure," Professor Wolfgang Reitzle said.
Deutsche Bank has been retained by Linde to manage the disposal process.

Material Handling - KION Group
In parallel with the merger with BOC, Linde AG has made the Material Handling business segment legally independent, by grouping the three brands Linde, STILL and OM in a new holding company - "KION Group".

"Material Handling will have greater focus on its business as an independent company", said Professor Reitzle. "By focussing on a clearly-defined business area, it will be possible to bundle strengths even more efficiently and to better extract the potential of the individual brands."

Hubertus Krossa (58) is spokesman of the management board of the "KION Group". Mr. Krossa is a Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG with full responsibility for the Material Handling business segment since January 2005. Other executives at the "KION Group" include Ralf Speth (50), previously executive manager of the Material Handling business segment, and Dr. Nedim Cen (40), who was most recently Managing Director at Credit Suisse where he was responsible for M&A in Germany and Austria.

"The new 'KION Group' will bring together all our strengths under one roof, so we can position ourselves to maximise cross-market synergies", said Krossa. "We have a great platform. With our three brands Linde, STILL and OM, we are the undisputed market leader in Europe as well as on the technology front. This provides the basis for us to strengthen our global position in the future."

With over 19,000 employees, the three brands Linde, STILL and OM recorded a total turnover of 3.6 billion euro and an operating profit of 223 million euro in fiscal 2005. The new holding company will be located in Wiesbaden.

600450 "Linde" and "The BOC Group" become "The Linde Group" glassonweb.com

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