Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux approaches Air Liquide with buyout offer

Industrial utilities group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux has made an unsolicited all-share takeover approach to gases group Air Liquide.

LONDON/PARIS, March 5, 2001 — Industrial utilities group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux has made an unsolicited all-share takeover approach to gases group Air Liquide.

Air Liquide, which received the offer from Suez last night, said it had turned down the offer because it didn't make good industrial sense.

Air Liquide said the offer was priced significantly higher per share than the current price.

Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux said the offer was made as part of its strategy to become a world leader in industry services, in which the Group aims to generate 50 % of its growth in the next four years.

Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux said it approached Air Liquide to look into the possibility of both groups uniting their know-how and activities in these fields. This regrouping would seem to Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux to generate major synergies for both groups and create value for their shareholders.

Air Liquide's Board was informed of this approach during the last meeting and considers there is neither the industrial, nor the economic logic for such a move which would warrant the interest of the shareholders of Air Liquide, the board said in a statement.

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