Linde plc

Linde plc is an American-Anglo-German multinational chemical company with global headquarters in Guildford, Surrey. It is the largest industrial gas company by market share and revenue. It serves customers in the healthcare, petroleum refining, manufacturing, food, beverage carbonation, fiber-optics, steel making, aerospace, chemicals, electronics and water treatment industries.[1] The company's primary business is the manufacturing and distribution of atmospheric gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases, and process gases, including carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.[1]

Linde plc
TypePublic limited company
ISINIE00BZ12WP82
IndustryChemical industry
Founded1879; 142 years ago (1879)
FounderCarl von Linde
Headquarters,
United Kingdom
Key people
Steve Angel, CEO
Wolfgang Reitzle, Chairman of the Board
Matthew J. White, CFO
ProductsIndustrial gas production, medical gas and air separation physical plant engineering, logistics services
RevenueIncrease $28.228 billion (2019)
Decrease $2.183 billion (2019)
Total assetsDecrease $86.612 billion (2019)
Total equityDecrease $51.522 billion (2019)
Number of employees
79,886 (2019)
Websitewww.linde.com
Footnotes / references
[1]
Linde Gas gaseus nitrogen plant.

The company is a member of the Hydrogen Council, a group of companies investing in hydrogen vehicles.[2][3] The company expects hydrogen vehicles to compete with electric vehicles such as those produced by Tesla, Inc. and has invested in wind powered plants that convert water to hydrogen.[4] The company was formed by the merger of Linde AG of Germany (founded in 1879) and Praxair (founded in 1907 as Linde Air Products Company) of the United States in 2018.

The company is ranked 444th on the Fortune Global 500[5] and 178th on the Forbes Global 2000.[6]

OperationsEdit

The company has two principal business areas: gas (industrial gases and medical gases), and engineering, procurement, and construction.

GasesEdit

In the industrial gas area, the company uses the brand names Linde, AGA, BOC, TIG, Mox-Linde Gases, Afrox,Sigas and PanGas. HiQ is used as an identifier for high purity and premium specialty gases across all of these business brand names.

In the medical gas area, the company uses the brand names Linde Gas Therapeutics, AGA Medical, INO Therapeutics, Linde Homecare, and Farmadomo.

Linde Gas supplies industrial gases, medical gases, specialty gases, refrigerants and other chemicals. Depending on the gas and the quantity required, these may be supplied in portable high-pressure gas cylinders, in liquefied form by road tanker, from on-site gas generators or in gaseous form via pipeline to large customers. This division has four operating segments, Western Europe, the Americas, Asia & Eastern Europe, and South Pacific & Africa. These segments are subdivided into eight Regional Business Units (RBUs). The Gases Division also includes the two Global Business Units (GBUs) – Healthcare (medical gases) and Tonnage (on-site) – and the two Business Areas (BAs) – Merchant & Packaged Gases (liquefied and cylinder gases) and Electronics (electronic gases).

The product range includes hydrogen, acetylene, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, shielding gases for welding applications, noble gases and specialty gases, oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, all of which are manufactured in Linde's air separation plants.

Linde Healthcare provides pharmaceutical and medical gas products and services for the healthcare industry such as oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, anaesthesia, and gas for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, sleep apnoea and pain.

Linde EngineeringEdit

Linde Engineering designs and builds large-scale chemical plants for the production of industrial gases including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen and carbon monoxide, as well as large plants associated with the processing of natural gas, LNG, Liquefied petroleum gas and the manufacture of olefins. The Engineering Division develops process plants in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business worldwide.

The group has more than 1,000 process engineering patents and 4,000 completed plant projects. [7]

The product range includes:

Gist LimitedEdit

 
Gist's vehicles deliver to stores and warehouses across the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Czech Republic and the USA

Gist Limited, headquartered at Chineham Business Park, Basingstoke, offers supply chain services including end-to-end management and customer fulfilment through transport and warehousing. The company employs approximately 5,000 people in 40 locations in Great Britain, France, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and the USA, with customers including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose & Partners, Tesco, Starbucks, Morrisons,[8] EAT, Young's Seafood[9] and Arla Foods.[10]

Gist also manages cargo movements across the world for a variety of clients, including Intergreen and Manchester Tank.

In partnership with Brake, Gist's Child Road Safety scheme, established in 2011, has seen more than 120,000 safety sessions delivered to children across the UK, warning of the dangers of HGVs on the road.[11]

The history of Gist Limited dates back as far as 1920, when George Littmoden began moving fruit and vegetables to Covent Garden market by horse and cart. George's business, called GL Baker, began transporting fresh fruit for Marks & Spencer in 1932. In 1969, The BOC Group acquired GL Baker, after it expressed interest in its use of liquid nitrogen in chilled containers. The company was renamed BOC Distribution Services in 1991, before being rebranded as Gist Limited (Gist being the 'heart of logistics') and moving its headquarters to Chineham in 2001.[12]

Gist was acquired by Linde as part of its 2006 acquisition of BOC.[13] Following the group's merger with Praxair to form Linde plc, Gist continues to operate as a separate entity under Linde.[14]

HistoryEdit

 
Uranium used to produce the United States' first atom bombs from 1942 to 1948 was processed by Linde Air Products in Tonawanda, New York.[15] This company originally had been founded as U.S. branch of the German “Gesellschaft für Linde´s Eismaschinen Aktiengesellschaft” in 1907, but had been expropriated in 1917 and was integrated into Union Carbide & Carbon Corporation.[16]:82–83 The New York Times reported in 1981 that 37 million U.S. gallons (140 million liters) of radioactive caustic wastes from the Manhattan Project was dumped into nearby shallow wells specifically chosen "to hide the source of the contamination".[17]

On 21 June 1879, Carl von Linde founded the Gesellschaft für Linde's Eismaschinen Aktiengesellschaft to develop further his work in developing mechanical refrigeration systems for the brewing and food industries. Following success in this market, he moved on to developing lower temperature systems resulting in 1895 in a patent covering the liquefaction of air. Out of this work his company developed equipment for the separation of air and other gases. Linde's process was patented in 1902 and immediately exploited by the first large-scale air separation plant installed in Linde's works in Höllriegelskreuth, near Munich in 1903.[16]:67

In 1906, Carl Von Linde decided to expand his oxygen extraction company overseas, targeting America, where no other companies had attempted industrial scale oxygen extraction. Along with Cecil Lightfoot, in 1907, he opened the Linde Air Products Factory, his first plant in America at Buffalo, New York.[18][19]

In addition to plants for air separation, in 1906, Linde engineers started working with others on processes to separate the constituents of water gas. This work developed into capabilities in the recovery of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which were further key feedstocks for the emerging chemicals industry.[19]

In addition to his interests in refrigeration, Carl von Linde had also partnered with Hugo Güldner and Georg Krauß and others in 1904 to form the Güldner Motoren-Gesellschaft mbH in Munich, which was moved to Aschaffenburg in 1906. Linde took full ownership of the company in 1929, and from this origin developed a business manufacturing first engines and tractors, and then from the 1950s onwards, a range of mechanical handling equipment such as fork lift trucks. Linde also acquired the Aktiengesellschaft für Industriegasverwertung (english: Corporation for Industry Gas Utilization), commonly referred to as the Heylandt Works.

In the years of Nazi Germany, Linde AG benefited from the country's attempt to become self-sufficient by refraining from imports of synthetic fuel and rubber. In 1935, general manager Friedrich Linde received the title of Wehrwirtschaftsführer, which underlined the national importance of Linde AG and allowed the company to further benefit from the German rearmament.[16]:99 Among the closest colleagues of the general director was Dr. Alfred Hess, plant manager in Höllriegelskreuth and uncle of Deputy Führer of the Nazi Party Rudolf Hess.[16]:100

Before and during World War II, all departments of Linde AG were in some way involved in the armaments production: The Heylandt-Gesellschaft für Apparatebau supplied the German rocket program, other branches produced welding equipment and engines for the armaments industry.[16]:111 In 1941, Linde manufactured oxygen and helium installations for IG Farben at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Three further planned installations were not installed due to the course of war.[16]:113–114 According to estimates of the company for mid-1944, between 400 and 500 people were used as forced labourers in production plants.[16]:115 Although the number may be overstated, the company claimed that 75% of its production facilities were destroyed during the war.[16]:126

Linde Air Products, since 1917 part of Union Carbide sued another company in 1950 for violating its patent on a welding process by simply substituting a similar material. In Graver Tank & Manufacturing Co. v. Linde Air Products Co., the United States Supreme Court established the doctrine of equivalents which found that, while not in the literal scope of the patent, the concept discovered by Linde was still being unfairly encroached upon without compensation.[20]

In 1958, the company tested a hydraulic drive system in the "Hydrocar".[19]

In 1989, the company acquired Lansing Bagnall, a British forklift manufacturer.

In 1996, the company acquired the rights to the Linde name from Praxair.[21]

In 2000, the company completed the acquisition of AGA AB of Sweden for $3.71 billion.[22][23]

In 2004, the company sold its refrigeration division to Carrier Corporation for €325 million.[24]

In September 2006, Linde acquired The BOC Group for €11.7 billion in cash.[25][26]

Linde's forklift business was rebranded as KION Group and sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs for €4bn in January 2007.[27]

In March 2007, the BOC Edwards semiconductor equipment business was sold to private equity firm CCMP Capital for €685m.[28][29][30] Also in March 2007, eight air separation units and related bulk gas business, with about 300 employees, were sold to Airgas for $495 million in cash.[31]

In April 2007, the company sold the industrial gas business of BOC Gazy to Air Products & Chemicals for €370 million or about $503 million.[32]

In 2008, the head office of Linde AG was relocated from its historic headquarters in Wiesbaden to the Angerhof building in downtown Munich.[33]

In 2010, the company acquired over 95% of the shares of Sri Lanka-based Ceylon Oxygen Ltd.[34]

In June 2011, PT Linde Indonesia, a subsidiary of Linde, announced its plan to build an air separation plant worth Rp.1 trillion ($117.33 million) in Cilegon, Banten to supply industrial gas to PT Krakatau Steel's steel plant.[35]

In May 2012, the company acquired the Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain homecare business of Air Products & Chemicals for €590 million.[36]

In August 2012, the company acquired Lincare Holdings, a healthcare gas provider in the USA for US$4.6 billion to become the largest home care gas supplier in North America.[37][38]

In December, the company acquired homecare company Calea France SAS.[39]

In February 2016, Lincare Holdings acquired American HomePatient, Inc.[40]

In December 2016, Linde Korea completed the acquisition of Air Liquide Korea's industrial merchant & electronics and liquid bulk air gases divisions, based in South Korea.[41]

In early June 2017, after almost a year of on-and-off negotiations, Linde and Praxair agreed to merge.[42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58]

In July 2018, the company agreed to sell certain business in North and South American assets to Messer Group and CVC Capital Partners for $3.3 billion to gain regulator approval for the Praxair merger.[59][60][61]

On 31 October 2018, the merger was completed except finalising divestitures required by the respective antitrust authorities.[62] On 1 March 2019 the company completed divestitures required by US antitrust authorities.[63]

On 28 February 2019, Matheson acquired Linde HyCO, divested to comply with the regulatory terms of the Praxair merger.[64]

On 9 August 2019 Linde partnered with CarbonCure Technologies.[65]

On 29 August 2019, the company acquired a 10% stake in Hydrospider, a Swiss producer and supplier of hydrogen derived from renewable energy sources.[66][67]

In October 2019, the company invested £28 million in ITM Power, a British manufacturer of polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers for hydrogen production via electro-chemical splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.[68][69]

In January 2020, the company sold its LifeGas division.[70]

In April 2020, Gasum acquired the company's LNG and Biogas business in Sweden and Norway.[71][72]

Financial dataEdit

Financial data in € billions[73]
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Revenue 16.655 17.047 17.944 16.948 17.113
Net Income 1.430 1.162 1.252 1.327 1.536
Assets 32.749 34.425 35.347 35.189 33.513
Employees 63,487 65,591 64,538 59,715 57,605

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit