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Munich, 18 April 2012 - Today, the European Commission has granted its unconditional approval for Linde AG's acquisition of the Continental-European homecare business of the industrial gases company Air Products. Following this approval, Linde and Air Products expect the transaction to be closed by end of April 2012.

The transaction comprises Air Products' homecare operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain with around 850 employees. This business, that is acquired by Linde at an enterprise value of EUR 590 m, achieved annual sales of EUR 210 m in 2011.

Homecare is the term applied to medical services relating to the treatment of patients in settings other than hospitals. It comprises respiratory services such as oxygen therapy, sleep therapy, and ventilation services. In the 2011 financial year, Linde achieved global sales of EUR 300 m in this product area. In the Healthcare segment as a whole, which comprises not only Homecare but also Hospital Care (the supply of medical gases and services to hospitals), Linde achieved sales in the 2011 financial year of around EUR 1.2 bn. Linde is the second largest supplier of medical gases and related services in the world.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,500 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 13.787 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable 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. The Group is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

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