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
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
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
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
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.