Colombo, Sri Lanka, 16 Oct 2010 – Linde AG today announced an offer to acquire all the shares in privately-held Ceylon Oxygen Limited in Sri Lanka, and the acceptance of the offer by the major shareholder, Europium Limited (a member of the private equity group, Actis), in respect of 95.4 percent of the shares in Ceylon Oxygen. The offer, which has become unconditional, will close on 12 November 2010, after which Linde intends to acquire the outstanding minority shares held by shareholders who have not accepted the offer under relevant Sri Lankan legislation to give it 100 percent ownership of Ceylon Oxygen.
Established in 1936, Ceylon Oxygen Limited is headquartered in Colombo, and is the leading medical and industrial gases player in Sri Lanka. It is the only company that owns and operates an air separation plant in the country.
"The Linde Group is a global leader in gases and engineering, and Asia is a key growth market for the Group. The investment in Ceylon Oxygen will expand Linde’s footprint in emerging markets in Asia, and provides the opportunity for us to tap into and participate in the long-term growth prospects in Sri Lanka. Working with Ceylon Oxygen’s experienced management team, we intend to build on and strengthen the company’s solid market position,” said Mr Sanjiv Lamba, Regional Business Unit Head for Linde South & East Asia.
Mr Niran Pieris, Chief Executive Officer of Ceylon Oxygen Limited, said, "We are very proud of our association with Actis – especially for their belief in our management team and their commitment to the long-term growth of Ceylon Oxygen. Today is the start of an exciting future for Ceylon Oxygen. As a member of The Linde Group, we will be able to leverage on Linde’s innovations built over 130 years, technological expertise and strong market position in South & East Asia to accelerate our expansion plans and serve an even wider set of customers.”
Ceylon Oxygen Limited employs approximately 160 staff and has two manufacturing sites in Sapugaskande and Colombo, as well as four depots in Galle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. It produces liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen at its Sapugaskande air separation unit, and its facility in Colombo houses a liquid carbon dioxide plant, a dry ice plant, a dissolved acetylene plant and a nitrous oxide plant.
About Ceylon Oxygen Limited
Ceylon Oxygen Limited was incorporated in 1936 in Sri Lanka. Since its inception, Ceylon Oxygen Limited has been in the forefront of providing medical and industrial gases in the country. It offers an extensive product range that includes oxygen, dissolved acetylene, nitrogen, dry air, compressed air, breathing air, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, dry ice and other gas mixtures which are manufactured at its own plant. It has an international standard laboratory which enables its specialists to test the purity of its gases, and ensure consistency in quality, quantity and reliability.
About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.
Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com
Tel: +65 6866 3196