DANBURY, Conn., October 5, 2011 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) and Yara International ASA of Norway have signed an agreement whereby Praxair increased its ownership in the Yara Praxair AS industrial gases joint venture in Scandinavia from 50% to 66%.
The Yara Praxair joint venture, formed in late 2007, comprises Yara International’s industrial gases businesses located in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The venture will continue to operate under the name Yara Praxair AS and be based in Oslo, Norway. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Yara, and more recently Yara Praxair, has served the Scandinavian industrial gases market as one of the leading suppliers to over 30,000 customers for nearly 30 years. The business generated annual sales of approximately $173 million in fiscal year 2010.
“Yara has proven to be an excellent venture partner,” said Steve Angel, chairman, CEO and president of Praxair. “Given the opportunities we see to expand in Scandinavia, coupled with the strong market position and name recognition that Yara enjoys there, we are pleased to have Praxair take a more active role in directing the industrial gases business going forward,” Angel added.
“Praxair and Yara have had a highly fruitful collaboration since the formation of the joint venture and we are confident that this partnership will further strengthen and grow, continuing to generate significant value for our companies. Praxair sees the importance of the Scandinavian market for its growth ambitions, and acquiring a majority stake in Yara Praxair provides Praxair with a solid platform to shape the strategic direction of the company,” said Jørgen Ole Haslestad, CEO and president of Yara International ASA. “Yara will continue to be a valued and trusted partner in the years to come,” Haslestad added.
Praxair expects to recognize a gain in the fourth quarter as a result of revaluing its existing 50% ownership at fair value, in accordance with U.S. accounting standards.
Yara International ASA is the world’s leading chemical company that converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen from the air into essential products for farmers and industrial customers. As the number one global supplier of mineral fertilizers, the company helps provide food for a growing world population. Its industrial product portfolio includes environmental protection agents that prevent air pollution. Yara’s global workforce of 7,300 employees represents the great diversity and knowledge that enables Yara to remain a leading performer in the industry. More information is available at www.yara.com.
Praxair, Inc. is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2010 sales of $10 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.
Susan Szita Gore