Helium supply a risk factor for MR OEMs and operators

Helium supply a risk factor for MR OEMs and operators

September 12, 2018
MRI
From the September 2018 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Merger between Praxair and Linde
A discussion about helium supply would not be complete without mentioning the pending merger of equals between Praxair and Linde, which is scheduled to close in October. Along with Air Liquide and Air Products and Chemicals, Praxair and Linde are two of the world’s four largest helium marketers. Not surprisingly, both the U.S. FTC and European regulatory authorities are requiring major divestitures of helium assets.

Phil Kornbluth
While nothing is final at this time, indications are that a partnership between the private equity firm CVC and the German industrial gas company Messer, will acquire the assets divested in the U.S., while the Japanese-based Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) will be acquiring the assets divested in Europe. While specifics have yet to be announced, it is possible that helium customers currently supplied in both the U.S. and Europe by Linde or Praxair could be transitioned to one of the purchasers of the divested assets. Also, Messer should become a significant competitor in the U.S. while TNSC should become a significant competitor in Europe.

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About the author: Phil Kornbluth is the president of Kornbluth Helium Consulting LLC. Kornbluth Helium Consulting offers high-quality consulting services related to all commercial aspects of the Global Helium Business. Phil has worked in the Helium Business for the last 35 years, including stints running the global businesses of both BOC Gases and the Matheson subsidiary of Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation.

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