Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer assumes majority share in Asco Carbon Dioxide

Effective 31 May 2007, industrial gas specialist Messer will assume a majority share in the Swiss company Asco Carbon Dioxide Ltd. Outgoing Asco CEO Thomas Trachsel will retain a 49 percent share in the company, which is an international provider of carbon dioxide and related technologies. Asco Carbon Dioxide Ltd. was founded in 1975.

This takeover marks the merger of two medium-sized and owner-operated enterprises, each with a long tradition to look back upon. Stefan Messer, CEO of the Messer Group and grandson of the company's founder stresses that "We are expanding our product portfolio to include a full spectrum of CO2 technologies, above all in the areas of dry ice production and applications." A key component here is the systems and machines business, which is focused on the production of and applications involving carbon dioxide. Asco boasts a substantial share of the world market in this field. The company is the technological leader in dry ice blasting systems, among the applications of which is the cleaning of industrial systems.

Thomas Trachsel, who remains with Asco as an administrative board member and minority shareholder, stresses that "With Messer’s assumption of the majority share in Asco and its sales expertise, new markets are opening for Asco in the core regions of the Messer Group, and I will remain actively involved in an accompanying and continuously assisting capacity." The new CEO of Asco is Wolfgang Pöschl, who will carry out these duties in addition to maintaining his position as General Manager of Messer Schweiz AG.