Air Liquide

Air Liquide S.A. (French pronunciation: [ɛʁ likid]; /ˌɛər lɪˈkd/; literally "liquid air"), is a French multinational company which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers. Founded in 1902, it is the world's largest supplier of industrial gases by revenues and has operations in over 80 countries.[2] It has headquarters at the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France.[3] Air Liquide owned the patent for Aqua-Lung until it expired.

Air Liquide S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded asEuronext: AI
CAC 40 Component
IndustryChemicals, Health care, Engineering
Founded1902 (1902)
FounderGeorges Claude 
HeadquartersQuai d'Orsay, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France
Key people
Benoît Potier
(Chairman and CEO)
ProductsIndustrial gases, fine chemicals
Revenue€21.011 billion (2018)[1]
€3.449 billion (2018) [1]
€2.133 billion (2018)[1]
Total assets€41.980 billion (end 2018) [1]
Total equity€18.207 billion (end 2018) [1]
Number of employees
66,000 (2018) [1]

Although Air Liquide's headquarters are in Paris, France, it also has major sites in Japan (ALL) and Houston, TX and Newark, DE, USA. There is an emphasis on research and development (R&D) throughout the Air Liquide company. R&D targets the creation of not only industrial gases, but also gases that are used in products such as healthcare items, electronic chips, foods, and chemicals. The major R&D groups within Air Liquide focus on analysis, bioresources (foods and chemicals), combustion, membranes, modeling, and the production of hydrogen (H2) gas.

The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[4] As of 2019, the company is ranked 500 in the Fortune Global 500.[5]


  • 1902: Georges Claude and Paul Delorme develop a process for liquefying air to separate the components. First drops of liquid air and creation of the company of the same name. Paul Delorme is the first president.
  • 1906: Launch of international expansion, first in Belgium and Italy, then also in Canada, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • 1913: Air Liquide joins the Paris Bourse.
  • 1938: Acquisition of La oxígena S.A. in Argentina
  • 1943: Engineer Émile Gagnan (employee at Air Liquide) and lieutenant de vaisseau (ship-of-the-Line Lieutenant) Jacques-Yves Cousteau, order from Air Liquide the construction, at its factory in Boulogne-Billancourt, of two scuba set prototypes that Cousteau and Frédéric Dumas used to shoot the underwater film Épaves (Shipwrecks), directed by Cousteau the same year.[6] They were the first modern diving regulators.
  • 1945: After the war, Jean Delorme, second president of the Group seeks to restore roads, renovate, and develop the tool industry.
  • 1946: Air Liquide founds La Spirotechnique (now Aqua Lung International), its own division destined to conceive and commercialize regulators and other diving equipment. The same year La Spirotechnique launches the CG45, the first modern regulator to be commercialized. The year 1946 thus represents the beginning of the popularisation of scuba diving.
  • 1957: Launch of great activity and industry networking pipes irrigating several major industrial areas in the world.
  • 1962: Launch of space adventure.
  • 1986: Deployment in the United States with the acquisition of Big Three Industries, a US industrial gas company distributing its gases through a network of pipelines along the Gulf Coast [7] and new establishments in many countries, particularly in Europe and Asia. Acquisition of SEPPIC, the French specialty chemicals company, as part of its Healthcare World Business Line.
  • 1995: Creation of Air Liquide Health: structure, teams, a gas supply medical equipment and services, fully dedicated to the medical sector, first at the hospital, then to patients' homes.
  • 1996: Acquisition of Schuelke and Mayr in Germany.
  • 2001: Acquisition of Messer Griesheim in South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Egypt, Argentina and Brazil.
  • 2003: Creation of a joint venture with The BOC Group in Japan: Japan Air Gases, strengthening the group's presence in the Far East market.
  • 2004: Acquisition of Messer Griesheim in Germany, UK, and the USA.
  • 2007: Acquisition of Linde Gas UK.
  • 2007: Acquisition of the German engineering company Lurgi, which doubles the capacity of the engineering group.
  • 2007: Acquisition of Scott Specialty Gases, LLC.[8] in the USA, UK and Netherlands.
  • 2008: The investment company Eurazeo, which owns 5.6% since 2006 group, announces to divest its stake.
  • 2016: Sale of Aqua Lung International to Montagu Private Equity. [9] [10] Acquisition of Airgas [11]
  • 2017: Air Liquide signed an agreement with Cargill to build a biodiesel plant in Kansas, US. The operation is planned to start in January 2019 to produce 60M gallons of biodiesel a year. Air Liquide and Cargill has already built six biodiesel plants together worldwide.[12]

Since the 2000 decade, Air Liquide increased significantly its investments in hydrogen production plants, with an increase by more than 50% between 2005 and 2008, making it one of the major segment of its offer. [13]

In early 2008, Air Liquide entered a long term contract (typically 15 years or more) with Neste Oil’s Renewable Diesel Plant to supply hydrogen. Air Liquide is building a unit on Jurong Island to provide the means for the deal. They plan to turn the unit into an integrated hydrogen pipeline network that will provide services to regional companies.

In November 2015, Air Liquide announced it would acquire American firm Airgas for a total of $13.4 billion including debt.[14] The Airgas shareholders have approved Air Liquide's acquisition on February 23, 2016.[15] On May 23, 2016, Air Liquide announced the completion of the acquisition of Airgas.[16]

Corporate structure

Board of Directors

Comprised as follows as of February 2017:[17]


Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions Germany GmbH (formerly Lurgi GmbH)

Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions GmbH (formerly Lurgi GmbH), a German engineering, construction, and chemical process licensing company. has been a part of Air Liquide S. A. since 2007. The head office is located in Frankfurt am Main. Lurgi was the cable address of Metallurgische Gesellschaft founded on 5 February 1897 with an origin dating to the technical branch of Metallgesellschaft, which had been established by Wilhelm Merton in 1881. By the end of World War I, the company had gained a foothold in the steam and absorption business and gathered expertise in the upgrading of solid fuels and the processing of the resulting gaseous and liquid products. As a consequence of this diversification, the company divided into process-specific subsidiaries, which beginning in 1919 traded under the name Lurgi. In 1923, they jointly moved into offices at Gervinusstrasse, Frankfurt am Main. To meet the requirements of the international markets, Lurgi constituted itself as a German stock corporation in 1990. Lurgi operated limited liability companies in chemistry, metallurgy and industry construction; energy and environmental techniques; and gas- and mineral oil techniques. Each company had their own engineering and commercial staff. In 1991, Lurgi pooled its polymer activities by taking over Zimmer AG from the British Davy-McKee AG as the fourth operating company. In 2001 Lurgi sold their metallurgical division (Lurgi Metallurgie) to Outokumpu. After acquisition by Air Liquide, the Zimmer technology portfolio was sold in 2014 to Technip.[18]

Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions Germany today focuses on three primary technology portfolios:

  • Alternative Technology based upon turning natural gas, coal, biomass into synthetic fuels through gasification, fischer-tropsch and proprietary methanol to synthetic fuels.
  • Refinery Technology consisting of conventional methods.
  • Renewable Technologies including biodiesel as well as bioethanol processes.

Financial data

Financial data in millions of euro
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2015
Sales 8 328 7 900 8 399 9 400 10 435 10 949 16 330
EBITDA 1 833 1 960 1 975 2 084 2 415 2 567 4 262
Net Results 460 703 725 778 933 1 002 1 756
Net Debt 2 584 2 022 1 730 3 790 3 740 3 447 7 239
Research 146 150 146 150 162 173 282
Employees 30 800 30 800 31 900 35 900 35 900 36 900 50 000+
Source :OpesC

By 29 February 2016, the company had a share value of 33,434 million euros, distributed in 344,222,603 shares.


  1. "Air Liquide 2018 results" (PDF). Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  2. "Group". Air Liquide. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. "Legal notice". Air Liquide. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  4. "Börse Frankfurt (Frankfurt Stock Exchange): Stock market quotes, charts and news".
  5. ""Air Liquide", Accessed September 3, 2019.
  6. Those two scuba sets made by Air Liquide are mentioned in the opening credits of the film as scaphandre autonome "air liquide" système Cousteau ("Air Liquide's scuba set, Cousteau system").
  7. Hayes, Thomas C.; Times, Special to the New York (1986-08-13). "French Buyer for U.S. Gas Producer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  8. "Air Liquide purchases Scott Specialty Gases". Air Liquide. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  9. "Aqua Lung Sold to Private Equity Firm". X-Ray Mag.
  10. "Aqua Lung sold – End of an era with Aire Liquide". Scuba Gadget.
  11. "Air Liquide completes acquisition of Airgas". Air Liquide. 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  12. Joanna Sampson (Nov 24, 2017). "Air Liquide Engineering & Construction wins biodiesel plant contract". Gasworld.
  13. "Air Liquide signs letter of intent with ConocoPhillips to construct new hydrogen unit in the San Francisco Bay Area" Archived 2011-06-16 at the Wayback Machine, January 30, 2006. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  14. "France's Air Liquide to buy U.S. peer Airgas in $13.4 billion deal". Reuters. 17 November 2015.
  15. "Airgas shareholders approve Air Liquide's acquisition of Airgas" (PDF). Airgas. 23 February 2016.
  16. "Air Liquide completes Airgas acquisition". 23 May 2016.
  17. "Board of Directors". Air Liquide. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  18. "Technip buys Air Liquide's Zimmer polymer technology business" Archived 2016-04-28 at the Wayback Machine, December 15, 2014. Accessed April 20, 2016.
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