Linde AG, a world leader in gases and engineering and working in more than 100 countries, said on Saturday that it had acquired a majority stake - 95.4% - of Ceylon Oxygen, accepting an offer from its main shareholder Europium Ltd (a member of the private equity group, Actis).
Ceylon Oxygen is a privately-held company. Linde said in statement, released at a news conference in Colombo, that it was offering to acquire all other shares. “ The offer, which has become unconditional, will close on November 12, after which Linde intends to acquire the outstanding minority shares held by shareholders who have not accepted the offer under relevant Sri Lankan legislation to give it 100 % ownership of Ceylon Oxygen,” it said.
Sanjiv Lamba, Regional Business Unit Head for Linde South & East Asia, said the investment in Ceylon Oxygen will expand Linde’s footprint in emerging markets in Asia, and provides the opportunity to tap into and participate in the long-term growth prospects in Sri Lanka. Working with Ceylon Oxygen’s experienced management team, the Linde Group intends to build on and strengthen the company’s solid market position, he said.
Niran Pieris, Chief Executive Officer of Ceylon Oxygen, said the new development was the start of an exciting future for Ceylon Oxygen. “As a member of the Linde Group, we will be able to leverage on Linde’s innovations built over 130 years, technological expertise and strong market position in South & East Asia to accelerate our expansion plans and serve an even wider set of customers.”
Ceylon Oxygen employs approximately 160 staff and has two manufacturing sites in Sapugaskande and Colombo, as well as four depots in Galle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. It produces liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen at its Sapugaskande air sepaation unit, and its facility in Colombo houses a liquid carbon dioxide plant, a dry ice plant, a dissolved acetylene plant and a nitrous oxide plant.