Two enlisted for BOC takeover bid

French industrial gases firm Air Liquide and its US counterpart Air Products, which launched a joint takeover bid for rival UK firm BOC at the end of last week, have appointed Financial Dynamics and Brunswick respectively.

French industrial gases firm Air Liquide and its US counterpart Air

Products, which launched a joint takeover bid for rival UK firm BOC at

the end of last week, have appointed Financial Dynamics and Brunswick

respectively.



In a highly secretive deal, BOC confirmed on Monday that it had been

approached by the joint bidders, but the company rejected the offer.



This is not expected to be the last in the takeover battle between Air

Liquide, Air Products and BOC - three of the world’s four largest

industrial gases companies.



The sector has been tipped for consolidation by industry observers since

press reports emerged two months ago that BOC was in talks with Praxair,

Air Products’ closest US rival and another leading player in the

market.



These talks are believed to have collapsed earlier this month.



Financial Dynamics and Brunswick are handling investor, media and

analyst relations for Air Liquide and Air Products respectively.



Despite BOC’s initial rejection, the companies are expected to pursue

their bid which, if it succeeds, would have major communications

implications which Financial Dynamics and Brunswick are expected to

handle.



The Air Liquide account is being led by FD UK managing director Charles

Watson, working alongside director David Yates.



Watson reports to Air Liquide corporate communications director Remy

Charachon and liaises with the company’s French agency, Publicis, which

handles the firm’s PR in continental Europe.



Air Liquide is the world’s largest industrial gases player, with a

market capitalisation of pounds 8 billion. It is headquartered in Paris

and headed by chairman Alain Joly.



Air Products is valued at just over pounds 6 billion and is

headquartered in Pennsylvania. The company’s chairman is Harold

Wagner.



BOC - the UK’s leading industrial gases player - has a market

capitalisation of about pounds 7 billion and is the largest quoted

chemical company in the FTSE 100.



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