Airgas Launches Airgas Healthcare, Its New Healthcare Brand



Airgas, an Air Liquide company, announced today that it has reinforced its position in the healthcare and life sciences markets by creating a dedicated brand: “Airgas Healthcare.” This new brand is the result of the integration of the healthcare and life sciences activity of Airgas and Air Liquide Healthcare in the U.S. It combines the expertise and innovation from Air Liquide Healthcare with Airgas’ extended supply chain and strong local customer proximity to deliver unmatched value to healthcare and life sciences customers.

With the integration of Air Liquide Healthcare in the U.S., Airgas Healthcare offers unrivaled one-stop access to the most comprehensive range of medical gases and related products and services to serve the needs of its customers.

Customers include healthcare professionals, from small independent practices – doctors, dentists, dermatologists, surgeons, veterinarians – to large hospital systems – clinics, nursing homes, home healthcare organizations, emergency medical service organizations; as well as life sciences customers, from small R&D labs to large pharmaceutical manufacturers; and from small colleges to large research universities.

Airgas Healthcare benefits from Air Liquide’s capabilities for healthcare innovation with dedicated medical R&D and innovation teams and an extended portfolio of innovative products and offers developed by Air Liquide Healthcare, such as the integrated valve and digital gauge known as INTELLI-OXTM as well as the hospital logistics solution from Total Gas Management.

Airgas Healthcare’s team of more than 1,500 trained professionals, the largest dedicated team of experienced healthcare specialists in the US market, offers high levels of service by creating and maintaining close relationships with customers, thanks to close geographical proximity and backed by Airgas’ digital platform and unique Airgas Total Access telesales channel.
Airgas Healthcare benefits from Airgas’ unmatched national presence, the widest network in the U.S. market, with more than 1,100 locations nationwide including nearly 350 medical gas fill plants. With one-stop, efficient access to products and capabilities through multiple engagement channels, including branch stores, healthcare specialists, Airgas Total Access telesales representatives,, and more, customers can focus on their critical work.

Christophe Tardieu, Airgas Senior Vice President of Healthcare, Life Sciences and Specialty Gases, commented: “Air Liquide Healthcare is a brand trusted by healthcare professionals and patients around the world. Now, with Airgas Healthcare, we can reinforce our commitment to U.S. healthcare and life sciences customers and continue to position ourselves as a leader in these markets.”

First half 2016: Robust Gas & Services sales growth Acquisition of Airgas accretive as of 2016


* Variation H1 2016/H1 2015 excluding currency and energy impact

Commenting on the first six months of 2016, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said:

This first half has been characterized by the completion of the Airgas acquisition, which will be accretive in 2016, and its first contribution to the Group’s performance. In a context of moderate global growth, Gas & Services sales posted robust growth. Growth is the result of dynamic Electronics sales, higher volumes in Large Industries, and rising Healthcare business. This first half is also characterized by a negative currency impact and lower energy prices.
All geographies are progressing on a comparable basis, benefiting notably from the slight improvement in demand in industry since the beginning of the year. This increase was more pronounced in Asia Pacific and the developing economies.
The Group continues to generate recurring efficiency gains, to which will be added the first benefits of synergies with Airgas in the second half of the year. The operational performance of Gas & Services is solid, as evidenced by the margin increase and strong cash flow growth.
The investment backlog, amounting to 2.1 billion euros, and recently signed new contracts, will contribute to growth in the coming years.
Following the completion of the acquisition of Airgas, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to generate growth in 2016, both in net profit and in net earnings per share, including the effect of the capital increase planned for September/October.

Group revenue for the first half of 2016 was € 8,295 million, including € 511 million of Airgas sales consolidated as of 23 May 2016 (closing date of the acquisition). Revenue for the first half increased +2.2% on a reported basis and +8.0%, excluding the currency and energy impact, as compared with the first half of 2015. Excluding Airgas, comparable growth1 was +1.7%.
Gas & Services sales, at € 7,618 million including Airgas sales since 23 May 2016, grew by +4.3% on a reported basis and by +10.6%, excluding the currency and energy impact, compared with the first half of 2015. Excluding Airgas, comparable growth is +3.6%. For the first half, the currency impact (-2.6%) and theenergy impact (-3.7%) are both unfavorable.
The developing economies continued to post strong growth, with Gas & Services sales up +11.4% on a comparable basis.
Overall, all Gas & Services activities progressed in the first half on a comparable basis, with the exception of Industrial Merchant, which remained contrasted:

  • Large Industries revenue, sharply up +6.2%, saw growth in all geographic zones. It benefited from the ramp-up of our production units, especially in Germany, Eastern Europe, North and South America, and China. The contribution of the two hydrogen production units on the Yanbu site, which started up in Q2 2015, remained significant this half, especially in Q1. In the US, growth accelerated in Q2 thanks to the start-up of a new air separation unit, while in China volumes remained high throughout the first half of 2016.
  • Industrial Merchant, down by -1.6%, remained contrasted. However, a slight improvement was noted in Q2. Sales in Europe, positive this first half, were up +2.7% for the second quarter, due mainly to higher bulk volumes. In North America, market segments related to energy and metal fabrication are still affected by weak demand for oil services and related industries, while the Agri-Food, Pharmaceutical, and Research markets are growing. This market dynamic is the same for Airgas, whose gas sales were slightly up in the first half. The situation is also contrasted in Asia Pacific, with sales down in Japan while volumes are rising sharply in China. The overall price effect remains modest at +0.4% against a global backdrop of low inflation.
  • Electronics continued to post robust growth of +11.2%, driven by strong demand for equipment and installations and advanced materials sales, which rose by more than +25%. Activity was particularly strong in Asia Pacific, with double-digit growth in Japan, China, and Singapore.
  • Healthcare, up by +4.8%, benefited from sustained high demand for home healthcare services, from dynamic hygiene sales, which rose by +19%, and from its expansion in the developing economies, Brazil and Argentina in particular. Including the contribution of Airgas via its sales of medical gases to hospitals, global Healthcare revenue in the second quarter was up +11.5%, excluding the currency impact.

Engineering and Construction revenue, which stood at € 254 million, fell sharply compared with the first half of 2015, adversely impacted by the slowdown in major projects related to energy and by the low number of new projects.

Global Markets & Technologies revenue amounted to € 146 million. It rose by +10.7% on a comparable basis, driven by markets related to maritime and space in the first quarter, as well as by dynamic biogas sales in the second quarter.

1 Adjusted for currency, energy and significant M&A impact (Airgas).

Air Liquide completes acquisition of Airgas

  • Acquisition’s strong industrial and market logic ideally positions company for future growth and long-term value creation
  • More than $300 million in synergies identified, with the majority to be achieved within the next two to three years
  • Air Liquide strengthens its global leadership in the industrial gas industry

Paris, France, and Radnor (Pennsylvania), USA – 23 May 2016 – Air Liquide (Euronext Paris: AI), world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Airgas, Inc., one of the leading suppliers of industrial gases and associated products and services in the U.S. Globally, the combined businesses will generate annual sales of more than €20 billion (more than $22 billion at current exchange rates1), employ approximately 68,000 people around the world, and serve well over three million customers and patients.

Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said: “We are very pleased to have successfully closed our acquisition of Airgas, which will contribute to our strategy of profitable growth over the long term. There is strong industrial and market logic to this acquisition, which ideally positions Air Liquide for future growth. The two businesses are highly complementary, and the transaction extends our customer base through a unique, multi-channel distribution network and a nationwide presence in the U.S. Since founding Airgas some 30 years ago, Peter McCausland has successfully grown the business into one of the premier industrial gas companies in the U.S., and I would like to thank him for his leadership, dedication and achievements. This transaction represents significant value potential for all Air Liquide stakeholders, and it is an exciting day for the Group as we welcome our Airgas colleagues and together begin a new chapter in our history.”

Peter McCausland, Executive Chairman of Airgas, said: “Today’s history-making transaction is the culmination of more than 30 years of growth and value that we have steadfastly delivered to Airgas shareholders – it is a proud moment. The future is very bright for Airgas’ more than one million customers and our talented employees as we join Air Liquide’s unrivalled global footprint and strength in technology and innovation, while remaining committed to Airgas’ product offering, service model, and entrepreneurial culture. Thank you to our customers, shareholders, and associates for believing in the Airgas vision, just as I have, for all of these years.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, first announced and unanimously approved by each company’s Board of Directors in November 2015, Airgas shareholders receive $143 in cash for each share of common stock of Airgas. In connection with the merger, the Airgas common stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Airgas will operate as a subsidiary of Air Liquide within the company’s U.S. operations and, commercially, will go to market as Airgas, an Air Liquide company.

Strategic Rationale:

  • There is strong industrial and market logic to this acquisition, which ideally positions the Group for future growth and long term value creation. It allows Air Liquide to expand in the U.S., the largest global market for industrial gases, and extends Air Liquide’s customer base by more than one million customers. The transaction will also create efficiencies in production and supply chain thanks to the complementary nature of the two businesses, and allows for potential volume growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s new offerings and technologies. The acquisition also brings with it the most advanced multi-channel distribution network in the U.S., including e-commerce and telesales capabilities.
  • The transaction is expected to generate significant synergies. Through active preparation work prior to the closing, more than $300 million of pre-tax industrial, administrative and volume growth synergies have been identified, the majority of which are targeted for delivery within the next two to three years, and are structured in detailed work plans.
  • The combination represents significant value potential for all Air Liquide stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, and employees. The transaction will be accretive from year one of ownership. Air Liquide and Airgas together will deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers in North America and around the world by allowing Air Liquide to offer its leading production and innovation capabilities to a broader customer base. This combination also creates new opportunities for employees as part of a leading global organization that is ideally positioned for growth.
  • The combination strengthens Air Liquide’s global leadership in the industrial gas business.Air Liquide becomes the leader in North America, complementing number one positions in Europe, Middle East/Africa and Asia-Pacific. It will also be number one in Industrial Merchant, Large Industries and Electronics, and one of the key players in Healthcare.

Leadership Announcements:

  • Peter McCausland, Executive Chairman of the Board of Airgas, retired upon closing of the transaction.
  • Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice-President and Board Director of Air Liquide, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Airgas.
  • Michael Graff, Member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee and Executive Vice-President of the Houston Hub, has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Board of Airgas.
  • Pascal Vinet, Member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee, will be appointed CEO of Airgas, after a brief, post-closing transition phase. During this transition phase, Michael Molinini will continue with his current responsibilities, serving as Interim CEO of Airgas, and he will retire later this year.
  • Andrew Cichocki has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer of Airgas, where his responsibilities will include direct oversight of the combined companies’ Industrial Merchant and Healthcare activities in the U.S., which are being consolidated under Airgas.

Next Steps:

  • Air Liquide will pursue and finalize sales of certain assets of the combined company in line with the divestiture process described in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s press release on 13 May 2016. The contemplated divestitures are in line with what Air Liquide was expecting prior to the transaction, and they will reduce the combined company’s sales by approximately $270 million annually.
  • Air Liquide received bridge financing for the transaction and refinancing of the acquisition will involve a capital increase in the range of €3 billion to €3.5 billion, together with a combination of U.S. dollar and Euro long-term bonds. Air Liquide is contemplating a capital increase with preferential subscription rights for shareholders at the end of Q3 2016 or the beginning of Q4 2016, subject to market conditions.
  • Air Liquide management will hold a Capital Markets Day for investors and analysts on 6 July 2016 in London, where the new Group mid-term plan will be presented.

Barclays Bank Plc and BNP Paribas are acting as financial advisors to Air Liquide. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Bredin Prat are acting as the primary legal advisors to Air Liquide.

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are acting as financial advisors to Airgas and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Airgas.

Air Liquide announces agreement to acquire Airgas

Please click on the link below to access the press release:

Scott Medical Products Celebrates 10 Years Without Lost Time Accident

Scott Medical Products (SMP), a division of Air Liquide Healthcare, supplies cylinder products globally ranging from medical drugs/devices, to calibration gases, equipment and services. The majority of business is sold through OEM’s in disposable cylinders by supplying over 500 products to 67 countries. One of the pillars of Air Liquide’s success is its employees’ awareness of and commitment to performing their jobs safely each day. This dedication to maintaining a safety culture has allowed SMP to achieve another major safety milestone.

On April 7, 2015, SMP reached the monumental safety achievement of 10 years without a Lost Time Accident.

Healthcare Group
Jill Blake-Morton, SMP’s General Manager, and the employees at SMP’s Plumsteadville, Pa. facility celebrated this occasion with a time of reflection and recognition followed by a catered luncheon. Also in attendance were Christophe Tardieu, CEO of Air Liquide Healthcare America Corporation from Houston, Texas and Gerald Berger, Director, Safety, Quality, Training & Risk from Rancho Mirage, California.

Jill Blake-Morton stated, “This safety milestone is an end result of the commitment and dedication to the Air Liquide safety culture by the entire SMP team. Safety is a journey, a daily initiative, and we must keep pushing. This trend can and will continue through the continued vigilance to ensure everyone goes home safely each day.”

Congratulations to the SMP team for their outstanding achievement!

Air Liquide announces the acquisition of a major player in home infusion in Germany


Air Liquide is pursuing the development of its Home Healthcare activity in Europe with the acquisition of Optimal Medical Therapies (OMT)*, a major player in providing home healthcare services for patients in Germany suffering from chronic illnesses requiring infusion therapy.

Founded in 1998, OMT, which has 45 employees, provides home healthcare services for around 5,000 patients and generated annual sales revenue of 28 million euros in 2013. The company is recognized for its expertise in home infusion services that include immunotherapy, pain management, and the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and Parkinson’s disease. Its integrated offer combines prescribed medication, high technology medical device, and patient services that enable the latter to be treated at home rather than at the hospital, which in turn promotes greater autonomy.

Via this acquisition, which takes the form of a majority stake (65%), Air Liquide reinforces its position in the German home healthcare market. In 2011, the Group acquired Licher Medical Therapy (LMT), one of Germany’s leading players in the area of medico-technical management at home with infusion therapies for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or immune deficiency. Air Liquide is already a major player in the French and Northern European infusion therapy markets.

Air Liquide will rely on the commitment of the two founding shareholders and on the expertise of the teams in place to pursue the development of OMT’s business.

Pascal Vinet, Vice-President, Healthcare Global Operations and a member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee, commented: “This acquisition strengthens our home healthcare offering and enables us to consolidate our position in the German infusion therapy market, as well as at the European level. Above all, it illustrates Air Liquide’s commitment to offering patients who suffer from chronic illnesses a service that combines innovative technologies and high added value care.

Optimal Medical Therapies GmbH & Co KG

Air Liquide plans network of new hydrogen filling stations in the United States


Air Liquide announces plans to develop and supply a fully-integrated hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the northeast United States, in collaboration with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. (Toyota), to support Toyota’s introduction of a new hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), the “Mirai”, and its plans to deliver hydrogen FCEVs in the United States.

Air Liquide’s U.S. hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the northeast will initially consist of twelve filling stations across a number of states, with plans to extend the network as demand warrants. The hydrogen filling stations will offer a typical vehicle filling experience. The stations developed by Air Liquide allow Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to fill up in less than 5 minutes, and FCEVs themselves offer an autonomy that can reach up to 300 miles (500 km) in range, depending on the model.

This initiative is the latest in the company’s current portfolio of hydrogen fuel cell energy activities in the U.S. and across North America, which also include recently awarded hydrogen fueling stations in California, and a number of fleet fueling projects for public buses and warehouse vehicles.

Air Liquide is actively involved in setting up the hydrogen energy industry at global level. The Group has delivered more than 60 hydrogen stations worldwide. Air Liquide already operates hydrogen filling stations for the general public in Europe, including Rotterdam, Netherlands and Düsseldorf, Germany. In Germany, Air Liquide is also a partner of the “H2 Mobility initiative” which aims to deploy about 400 hydrogen stations covering the whole country by 2023. In 2014, the Group announced the installation of four new hydrogen filling stations in Denmark (the first hydrogen infrastructure network in Europe at national level).

Hydrogen has great potential to provide clean energy. Used in the fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity, with water as the only by-product. Air Liquide is present across the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage, distribution and the development of end user applications, thus helping to drive the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy.

Michael J. Graff, Air Liquide Group Senior Vice-President for the Americas and Executive Committee member, commented: Air Liquide and Toyota share a common and clear commitment to innovation and the vision of a clean energy future for vehicle transportation. Air Liquide sees great promise in the emergence of hydrogen FCEVs in the transportation sector around the world. We are proud to be on the forefront of hydrogen fuel cell technology and the deployment of the necessary infrastructure. We support the creation of a new mobility ecosystem and the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean and reliable energy source in the transportation sector.

Air Liquide opens its first hydrogen filling station for the general public in the Netherlands


On September 3, 2014, Air Liquide inaugurated its first hydrogen filling station in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in the presence of the Secretary of State of the Dutch Ministry of Transport and the Environment.

This station will be the first Air Liquide hydrogen filling station located in the Netherlands. It has the capacity to refuel fifty cars per day. One hydrogen full tank, which takes under five minutes to achieve, will give Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles a range of 500 – 600 km.

This filling station is part of HIT*, a European hydrogen infrastructure deployment project run by Air Liquide and six other European partners. It received financial backing from the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), a European Commission program which aim is to support the development of transport infrastructures.

The Air Liquide Group is actively involved in setting up the hydrogen energy industry at global level: it has already designed and supplied over 60 hydrogen filling stations around the world. The first one intended for the general public opened in 2012 in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 2014, the Group also announced the installation of four new hydrogen filling stations in Denmark – the first national hydrogen infrastructure network in Europe.

Hydrogen helps to preserve the environment by providing solutions for the challenges of sustainable mobility: reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as local pollution in urban areas. The creation of a distribution infrastructure is one of the key challenges for the commercial development of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles.

Air Liquide gets the keys to the two first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles registered in France


Air Liquide and Hyundai Motor France announce the handover of the keys to the two first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicules (FCEV) registered in France. These hydrogen-powered cars have a range close to 600 kilometers and their only emission is water.

This delivery of two of the first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicles represents an important landmark in the development of the hydrogen energy industry. Highly involved in this field, Air Liquide wanted to be the first to use these vehicles in France. Air Liquide’s hydrogen filling stations can fill the vehicles’ tanks in under five minutes. This high-performance technology is already safe and available.

The two Hyundai ix35 cars are part of a series of 1,000 vehicles that the constructor will build by 2015 in its factory in Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai Motor is the first automobile constructor to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles.

Hydrogen energy is an innovative solution that helps to preserve the environment. The creation of a hydrogen distribution infrastructure is one of the main challenges for the commercial launch of fuel cell electric vehicles. Air Liquide is contributing to the emergence of this sector in the transportation industry by supporting the creation of the necessary distribution infrastructures worldwide: the Group has already designed and supplied over 60 hydrogen filling stations around the world.

It is on its site in Sassenage, near Grenoble, that Air Liquide received these first fuel cell electric vehicles registered in France. For 15 years now, this site, which is dedicated to exploring new markets through technology and innovation, has been designing and developing all the technologies required to roll out this new hydrogen energy industry.

Press Kit “Hydrogen, a clean energy”


Qatar: start-up of world’s largest helium unit


Air Liquide recently started up the world’s largest helium purification and liquefaction unit, a turnkey project at Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar. The new unit’s production capacity is approximately 38 million cubic meters of helium per year. The high technologies Air Liquide uses to purify and liquefy helium at a very low temperature (-269°C) are proprietary. The liquefaction equipment is the world’s largest, measuring 20 metres long and more than 8 metres high. This helium liquefier is operated by RasGas.

The combined production capacity of this new unit and the existing unit on this site will be approximately 58 million cubic meters per year, making Qatar the world’s second largest producer of helium with 25% of current global production.

Under a long-term agreement with RasGas and Qatargas, Air Liquide will purchase 50% of the helium volumes produced by this new unit and the existing one. Access to this major helium source will position the Group as one of the main players in the worldwide helium market.

This start-up marks the next step toward helium market stability. World demand for helium has remained robust in the last ten years, while helium is scarce worldwide. Helium plays a critical role in a wide array of products. Key uses include MRI scanners, semiconductors, fiber optic cable, space exploration, scientific research, air-bag production and professional hyperbaric diving.

Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, RasGas Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Qatar Petroleum (QP) said, “The Helium 2 plant, which broke ground in May 2010, is the second helium project to be built in Qatar, and we are very pleased to report that in over 5 million man hours worked to complete this project, we have maintained a lost time incident rate (LTIR) of zero. Achieving such a remarkable milestone is a clear testimony to RasGas’ commitment to creating and maintaining a safe work environment in a complex construction project that involved thousands of contractors and employees.”

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President, Air Liquide Group, and a member of the Executive Committee, commented: “I would like to thank RasGas for its trust, as well as the many dedicated people who have inspired and contributed to the technological prowess required to bring this helium production project in Qatar to where it is today. Air Liquide is proud to have played a role in this success, which significantly strengthens our worldwide helium supply position as well as our leadership in the Middle East.”