German industrial gases group Linde has agreed to sell its South Korean assets to local private equity firm IMM for 1.3 trillion won ($1.15 billion), two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.
The move is seen as part of Linde’s efforts to divest assets in South Korea and elsewhere to win antitrust clearance for its $86 billion merger with rival Praxair, which will create an industry leader.
South Korea’s competition watchdog in October said Linde and Praxair would have to sell some of their assets, raising concerns that their combination would restrict competition.
The sources said Macquarie Group Ltd, Air Liquide SA had also bid for Linde’s South Korean assets.
IMM will buy Linde’s industrial gas business in South Korea, while Linde will retain its special gas operations in the country, one of the sources said.
The person said the two firms aim to close the deal by the end of April. A second person confirmed the sale, without elaborating on the value of the deal.
Linde declined to comment. IMM, Macquarie and Air Liquide were not immediately available for comment.
Linde and Praxair won U.S. antitrust approval for their merger in October.
The all-share merger creates an industry leader now called Linde PLC with revenue of about $27 billion based on 2017 figures, and 80,000 employees across more than 100 countries.
By Arno Schuetze, Hyunjoo Jin and Kane Wu
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?