The Linde Group is a world leading supplier of industrial, process and speciality gases and is one of the most profitable engineering companies. Linde products and services can be found in nearly every industry, in more than 100 countries. A success story that began with the separation of air.
The Linde Group, registered as Linde AG (FWB: LIN) is an international industrial gases and engineering company founded in 1879. Linde shares are traded on all the German stock exchanges and also in Zürich, and the Linde share price is included in the DAX 30 index. The group is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with some supporting headquarters functions in Surrey, England.
The Linde Group underwent a significant transformation in September 2006, following the acquisition of UK based competitor The BOC Group. The merger and subsequent disposal of non-gas interests recast the group as the world's largest pure-play industrial gases supplier. Linde's former materials handling business was rebranded as KION Group in September 2006 and sold in November 2006 to KKR and Goldman Sachs for €4bn. In March 2007 the BOC Edwards semiconductor equipment business was sold to CCMP Capital for €685m.
Linde's sales in 2006 - a year of significant acquisitions and disposals - were €12.4 billion, with 55,000 employees.
Following the BOC acquisition, The Linde Group has become the world's largest industrial gas company. In 2005, Linde AG and BOC together had 21% of the world's market in industrial gases followed by Air Liquide with 19%, Praxair with 13%, Air Products & Chemicals with 10%, Nippon Sanso with 4%, Airgas with 3% and Messer Group with 1%.