The global market for industrial gas is highly concentrated. The top ten competitors in the industrial gas market made up 73.8% of the total market in 2018. Air Liquide was the largest competitor with 22.7% of the market in 2018, followed by The Linde Group with 17.32%. Other major players in the industrial gas market include Praxair, Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp, Sinopec, Air Water Inc., Messer Group GmbH, Agrium Inc., and Showa Denko K.K.
Air Liquide S.A., the largest company in the industrial gas market in 2018, was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Paris, France. L’Air Liquide is a supplier of gases, technologies and services. L’Air Liquide’s growth strategy aims at acquiring companies in similar industries. In May 2017, Air Liquide acquired Air Gas for $10.3 billion. Air Gas is a French supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases. The deal represents a total enterprise value of $13.4 billion. Through this acquisition, Air Liquide will be the largest supplier of industrial gases in the world. Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, Airgas is involved in industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods. Air Liquide also acquired Messer Aligaz Sanayi Gazlari, an industrial, medical, and specialty gases manufacturing subsidiary of Messer Group GmbH based in Turkey in 2015. Again, in 2014, Air Liquide acquired Scientific and Technical Gases Ltd., a calibration gas, high purity gases, and equipment manufacturer in the UK.
The Linde Group was the second largest company in the global industrial gas market in 2018. Linde AG is a producer and supplier of industrial, process and specialty gases. The company was founded in 1879 and is headquartered in Munich, Germany. The company’s growth strategy aims at increasing its production by expanding its production facilities. In 2017, Linde invested more than $100 million to construct a new air separation plant and expand its production capacities in Claymont, Delaware. In 2017, the company started the construction of a new air separation unit in Tanjung Kidurong, East Malaysia, worth RM33 million (EUR 7.4 million) ($8.2 million). The company has also invested EUR 25 million ($27.7 million) to expand its current air separation plant in the Philippines and construct a new nitrogen liquefaction plant in Apalit Pampanga.
Linde Group has also invested in a merger with Praxair, Inc., which is among the top five largest companies in the global industrial gas market. In October 2018, The Linde Group and Praxair, Inc. merged to create a combined entity with a market capitalization of $90 billion. This merger is expected to further consolidate the industrial gases market by creating a global leader in terms of both sales and geographic footprint.