Outlook: BOC is dead but Rosenkranz gets rich
Wednesday 14 July 1999
Provided they can get this stitch up past the regulators (which is by no means a foregone conclusion), the French and the Americans should be laughing all the way to the bank. In one fell swoop, the number of serious world players in the industrial gases market has gone from four to three, leaving Air Liquide and Air Products sitting on a combined global market share of nearly 40 per cent.
Air Liquide alone will have 25 per cent of the total market, which is the kind of share that makes anti-trust busters start to look very hard indeed. In parts of the US its presence will be considerably higher unless wholesale disposals ensue. The French and Americans think they have got around this by dividing BOC up into neat little geographic parcels and have told the BOC board that it has nothing to worry about from the regulators. Trust us, this deal will be sowed up inside six months.
But regulators have a habit of getting awkward when they are taken for granted by scale monopolists. Both the European Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission have the capacity to make life difficult.
Just in case the deal does stumble on regulatory issues, BOC has written a clause into the agreement guaranteeing it $100m in compensation for wasted time and the inconvenience. This is designed to safeguard shareholder value in the event that investors do not get to see 1460p a share.
The BOC board may feel they have done well by shareholders. But the fate of BOC rather makes a mockery of the strategy pursued by its chief executive Danny Rosenkrantz who has spent three years carefully reconstructing it along global product lines only to see it broken up again continent by continent. In the long run the BOC workforce may be the poorer but Mr Rosenkranz has the consoltaion of trousering pounds 5.7m as he walks into the sunset.
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 The jihadi girls who went to Syria weren't just radicalised by Isis — they were groomed
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Someone has actually got a tattoo of that dress
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...