The BOC Group

The BOC Group

The BOC Group plc was the official name of the multinational industrial gas company more commonly known as BOC, and now a part of The Linde Group. In September 2004, BOC had over 30,000 employees on six continents, with sales of over £4.6 billion [ [ BOC Report and Accounts 2005] ] . BOC was also the company's stock symbol on the London Stock Exchange. BOC was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and the FT 30. On 5 September 2006 The BOC Group became part of The Linde Group of Germany and is no longer traded as a separate company.

Business Activities

The BOC Group business activities included:

*The Process Gas Solutions (PGS) line of business, supplying large product volumes by pipeline, on-site generation or cryogenic tanker.
*The Industrial and Special Products (ISP) line of business providing packaged gas, chemicals and related products and services. The gases involved are typically delivered in high pressure cylinders.
*BOC Edwards supplying the semiconductor industry with vacuum, chemical delivery and abatement systems and related services. It also supplies vacuum equipment to many industrial and scientific sectors.
*Gist providing logistics design, management and operation in a number of sectors including food, beverage and fashion retailIn March 2005, BOC announced that it has completed the sale of Afrox Healthcare - a hospital and managed health care group operating in South Africa - to a consortium led by Black Economic Empowerment investors.


Brin's Oxygen Company, Ltd. was formed in 1886 by Arthur and Leon Brin. In the early days they manufactured oxygen using a high temperature barium oxide process developed from work by French scientist Jean Baptiste Boussingault. The main application for gaseous oxygen at this time was in connection with the limelight light sources used in magic lanterns and theatre lighting. A major new market emerged around 1903 with the development of the oxyacetylene welding process. Around the same time, new cryogenic air separation processes based on work by Carl von Linde and others replaced the barium oxide process, paving the way for larger scale and more efficient production. The company became the "British Oxygen Company" in 1906 and grew nationally and internationally through the following decades. In 1975 the company officially became "BOC International Ltd", reflecting its success in developing business outside of Britain, and in products beyond oxygen. In June 1999 following rumours of merger discussions between Praxair and BOC, Air Products and Chemicals Inc and L'Air Liquide S.A. made a series of cash offers to acquire BOC. [ [ BOC rejects takeover bid] ] On 13 July 1999 the BOC board approved a pre-conditional cash offer of £14.60 per share. [ [ Balloon goes up on BOC independence] ] Preconditions included obtaining regulatory approval in jurisdictions including the European Union and the USA. On 12 May 2000 the bid was allowed to lapse, following failure to reach a satisfactory agreement with the United States Federal Trade Commission. [ [ BOC merger collapses] ] Following the collapse of the bid, BOC developed a new strategy to stimulate business growth in new products and markets, and to reshape its existing portfolio of businesses to improve Group performance.


In January 2006 the German industrial group Linde made a preliminary proposal to acquire BOC based on a £15 per share all-cash offer. This proposal was rejected by the BOC board of directors. In March 2006 Linde made a second proposal based on a £16 per share all-cash offer, valuing the company at £8.2bn (US$14.4bn; €12bn). This offer was recommended to shareholders by the BOC Board. This takeover was completed on 5 September 2006. [ [ Statement on Linde homepage] ] On the 6th September BOC employees received a welcome pack including a letter from Linde CEO Professor Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, a small badge representing the new logo of The Linde Group and a Swatch watch. On March 12th 2007, The Linde Group, announced that the vacuum business known as BOC Edwards had been purchased by private investment group 'CCMP Capital'


External links

* Official site:
* Linde Homepage (English):
* Education section describing industrial gases and their uses:
* Precision Plus - Subsidiary of BOC, Specializing in Vacuum Pump Replacement Parts: []
* [ Yahoo profile]

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