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Air Products sells Performance Materials Division to Evonik

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LNG Industry,

Air Products has released a statement claiming that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Performance Materials Division (PMD) – a part of its Materials Technologies segment – to Evonik Industries AG. The US$3.8 billion sale is expected to close at the end of 2016. It is subject to both customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Under the agreement, Evonik will receive all of the operational facilities, supplier contracts, laboratories, contracts, customers, employees, and certain legal entities associated with PMD. Evonik aims to continue to run the division from Allentown, Pennsylvania, US.

In addition to this, Air Products is planning to spin-off its Electronic Materials Division (EMD) to shareholders as a separate public company – Versum Materials. The separation of EMD is on schedule to be completed by the end of September 2016. Air Products will continue to look at whether debt and equity market conditions are favourable for a tax-free spin-off.

The sale comes as part of the company’s five-point plan. The plan includes focusing on industrial gas, and taking action on non-core businesses. In September 2015, it was announced that the Materials Technologies segment (which includes PMD and EMD) would be separated.

The Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products, Seifi Ghasemi, said: “The sale of PMD is consistent with the long-term strategy for Air Products that we announced in September 2014.

“I am very pleased that PMD has a great future ahead of it as a core business of a company which is even larger than Air Products.

“As for the balance of our Materials Technologies segment, I am also very excited about the future of EMD, which we currently intend to spin-off as a new, world-class public company named Versum Materials. Guillermo Novo will be the CEO of the new company, and I will be non-executive chairman of Versum Materials while maintaining my current roles at Air Products.

“As a result of these moves, Air Products will be in an even stronger position to take advantage of the exciting investment opportunities to grow our core Industrial Gases business.”

Edited from press release by David Rowlands

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