BOC's board will meet tomorrow. The company said on 6 July it has re- opened discussions with France's Air Liquide and Air Products. It rejected their previous offer two weeks ago. Analysts said it was likely that BOC would eventually succumb to a takeover in the consolidating $28.5bn (pounds 18bn) industrial gases market, which has faced a slump in sales from recession in Asia and challenges to big customers such as US steelmakers. But a combination will probably face regulatory hurdles, an issue likely to figure in the talks.
SHARES in BOC jumped 12 per cent as the industrial gasmaker said it was still in talks about a takeover bid from rivals Air Liquide and Air Products & Chemicals and is awaiting further details on the plan.