Management and Gilde acquire Chemogas from Linde

Grimbergen (Belgium), 23 May 2016 – The management of Chemogas NV, a leading international provider of packaged chemical gases and related services, and Gilde Equity Management (GEM) Benelux today announced the agreement to acquire Chemogas NV through a management buy‐out from The Linde Group, a German listed multinational industrial gases and engineering company. Chemogas was part of The Linde Group since 1990 and is active in the filling, blending, worldwide marketing and distribution of chemical gases. Chemogas will continue its activities independently under the Chemogas name.

CEO of Chemogas, Dirk Battig, and his management team are very pleased with Gilde as new partner: “Chemogas has been a leading player in the packaged chemical gases industry for over 40 years. Partnering with Gilde is a major milestone in the history of Chemogas and I’m confident that, backed by Gilde’s strong experience in building leading companies, Chemogas will continue its successful international growth path. Our strategy of tapping into new product segments and targeting new geographies, fueled by a growing market share of ethylene oxide for the global sterilization market, will enable Chemogas to further strengthen its leading position as international reference supplier of packaged specialty gases. We are excited to take on these next steps together with Gilde.”

Closing of the transaction is still subject to the completion of customary closing conditions.

About Chemogas

Chemogas NV, originally founded in 1975 and headquartered in Grimbergen (Belgium), is a global leader in the filling, blending, worldwide marketing and distribution of chemical gases and liquids, as well as related services. It is one of the premier global providers of packaged ethylene oxide to the worldwide medical sterilization industry. Chemogas also supplies natural refrigerant gases (like ammonia and propylene) and other specialty gases, to clients within more than 70 countries. Over the years, the Company successfully developed a predominant position as an officially registered Waste Treatment Centre and Waste Collector within its market segments, also providing recycling services for packaged gases. Chemogas, being a top tier SEVESO company, holds the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications. For more information please visit www.chemogas.com

About Gilde Equity Management (GEM) Benelux

Gilde Equity Management (GEM) Benelux is an independent private equity firm with EUR 750 million in committed capital. With a track record of more than 50 buyouts, Gilde is one of the leading investors in medium‐sized companies in the Benelux countries and has achieved successful international growth for many companies. Examples of investments of Gilde are: Belgium based Actief Interim, one of the leading independent staffing agencies in Western‐Europe; Fruity Line, a producer of premium freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies; EV‐Box, the leader in charging solutions for electric vehicles undergoing strong international expansion; and Dunlop Protective Footwear, the oldest manufacturer of boots in the Netherlands that has become the global market leader; Other investments in Belgium include ISFI, a leading supplier of a broad range of private label herbs & spices to the retail, food service and industrial channels, and Sovitec, European market leader in the manufacturing of high quality micro glass beads, which are mainly used as reflective material in horizontal road marking. For more information please visit www.gilde.be

About The Linde Group

In the 2015 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of EUR 17.944 bn, making it one of the leading gases and engineering companies in the world, with approximately 65,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long‐term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward‐looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.com