Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer acquires all the shares in Messer Carburos

The industrial gas specialist bought Air Products’ stake in Messer Carburos, Tarragona, in December.

In December 2007, the Messer Group acquired its competitor Air Products’ shares in Messer Carburos. This means that, for the first time since it was established in 1970, the Spanish subsidiary is wholly owned by Messer, the world’s largest owner-managed industrial gas company.

The acquisition of the shares is part of the Messer Group’s strategy to invest in its core markets of Europe and Asia, and underlines its position as an independent, privately managed industrial gas producer with Stefan Messer at the helm as owner and CEO. In the Spanish province of Tarragona, Messer is currently investing 40 million euros in one of Spain’s largest air separation plants, which is forecasted to go into operation in July.

When Messer Carburos was founded 37 years ago, the then chemical group Hoechst as well as the industrial gas producers Messer Griesheim and Carburos Metálicos, Spanish subsidiary of Air Products, each held a one-third stake in the company. After the construction of the third production facility for air gases in the chemicals and petrochemicals industrial complex in Tarragona in the mid-90s, this air separation plant was sold to the co-owner Air Products in 1996 in return for a reduced stake in the company. The changed business strategy of Hoechst after its merger with Aventis at the end of the 90s led to the sale of its share in Messer Carburos. Since then, the Messer Group has had a 90 per cent stake in the Spanish company.