Air Liquide's $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas gets US FTC clearance

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has granted clearance for the acquisition of US company Airgas by France-based Air Liquide.

The clearance satisfies the final regulatory condition of the closing of this pending acquisition, which is expected to be completed on 23 May, subject to the satisfaction of the remaining customary closing conditions.

Under the deal, which was valued at $13.4bn when it was announced in November last year, the companies have agreed to sell assets used to produce bulk oxygen, nitrogen, argon and other products in certain markets.

“Air Liquide noted that a divestiture package has been prepared and that the process is well underway.”

Air Liquide noted that a divestiture package has been prepared and that the process is well underway.

The FTC clearance follows the decision by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in March that the proposed acquisition poses no national security concerns, as well as approval from Airgas shareholders in February.

Following the completion, the merger is claimed to form the biggest industrial gas company in the world, serving the North American, Europe, African / Middle Eastern, and Asia-Pacific regions.

The acquisition will strengthen Air Liquide's presence in the US market, as well as position the company for future growth, using Airgas' footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide's new offerings, technologies and innovations to customers.

It is reported that the acquisition will also extend Air Liquide's customer base by more than one million customers through a multi-channel distribution network in the US and a nationwide presence.

Airgas is a producer of atmospheric gases and its 16 air separation plants make carbon dioxide, dry ice and nitrous oxide.