Linde Mulls IPO For Material Handling Business

Posted on May 4, 2006

The chief executive officer of German industrial conglomerate Linde said the company is seriously considering whether to float its Material Handling division in an initial public offering (IPO). "It's still open whether an IPO is a conceivable option instead of a sale, as well as when a decision between the two must be made," Wolfgang Reitzle told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Munich. "Should the market environment continue to develop so well, an IPO is a serious alternative."

Reitzle said Linde would mandate an investment bank to advise it on the disposal of Material Handling as a next step. Criticized by the market for its conglomerate structure, Linde plans to become a pure-play industrial gases provider after it agreed early in March to buy U.K.-based rival BOC Group $15.04 billion in cash.