Gas manufacturer pays $4.6 billion for Lincare to move on U.S.

German-based Linde, a major manufacturer of oxygen products, lung drugs and anesthesia, has made another move on a home healthcare player as a way to move deeper into the American market.

Linde will pay $41.50 a share, or about $4.6 billion, to acquire Lincare Holdings, a Clearwater, FL, company that provides in-home respiratory therapy and has nearly 1,100 local centers where it offers oxygen therapy, chemotherapy and pain management, among other services, reports PharmPro. European industrial gas suppliers are targeting the U.S. home care market, reports Reuters, because of its 6% to 9% annual growth as the population ages.

The Munich-based Linde manufactures medical gases used in healthcare like oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy and anesthesia. It has 50,500 employees in more than 100 countries and reported sales of €13.78 billion ($17.3 billion) last year, PharmPro says.

Earlier this year, it paid $748.74 million to buy the European operations of Air Products, also a U.S. company. Reuters says Air Liquide, another large player in the home care gas market, said last month that it is negotiating to buy a controlling interest in the French business of LVL Medical.

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