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.
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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.