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Company Overview
The BOC Group Plc is a global industrial gases company engaged in the production and distribution of industrial gases, vacuum technology, healthcare and logistics services through its subsidiaries BOC Gases, BOC Edwards and Gist. The company was established in January 1886 by the Brin’s Brothers and was formerly known as Brin’s Oxygen Company. The registered headquarters of the company is primarily located in Windlesham, United Kingdom.
The BOC Group is one of the world’s largest leading gases companies. BOC Gases is a leading supplier of industrial, medical, scientific and hospitality gases in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Poland. BOC Edwards supplies gases, vacuum and specialist equipment for advanced industries including electronics. Gist provides logistics and supply chain solutions in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The BOC Group delivers value-added solutions based on the supply of gases, equipment, consumables, distribution and services for manufacturing, healthcare, and advanced technology and research industries. BOC is a leading supplier of bulk industrial and medical gases in the United States. The company has active operations in the regions of Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific regions. Its production and distribution site is primarily located in the United Kingdom.
The BOC Group is part of the Linde Group, a world leading industrial gas and engineering company with more than 53,000 employees working in about 70 countries on all continents.
Business Summary
BOC Group Plc (The) principal activity is production and distribution of industrial gases, vacuum technology, healthcare services and logistics services.
Description and history
BOC Group Plc (The) principal activity is production and distribution of industrial gases, vacuum technology, healthcare services and logistics services.

About the Company:

The BOC Group’s is built around its customers. Whatever the industry or interest, the company goal is to respond to their needs as quickly and effectively as possible. Their ever-changing requirements are the driving force behind the development of all our products, technologies and support services.

The BOC Group has an international portfolio of companies grouped for management control and reporting into three lines of business: Process Gas Solutions, Industrial and Special Products, and BOC Edwards. It also has a specialist logistics business, Gist.

BOC adds value to a diverse range of industries and organisations world-wide: from electronics to food; from water treatment plants to chemical processes; from coating most of the world’s high-performance glass to distributing food, clothes and other consumables.


2000 to today

The millennium started well with BOC winning new business, completing major projects and developing new products.

Tony Isaac became chief executive and a new executive management board was formed. The organisational structure of three global lines of business was confirmed; industrial & special products, process gas solutions and BOC Edwards. The portfolio was completed with two specialist businesses Afrox Healthcare and BOC Distribution Services – shortly to become Gist.

Establishing a growth agenda

BOC refocused on a growth agenda and benefited from a consistent strategic direction, based on producing superior returns for shareholders through sustained growth in earnings and improved capital efficiency.

Within that overall growth there were several significant business success stories.

BOC’s biggest investment, the world’s largest nitrogen plant, came on stream in 2000 – serving the largest offshore oilfield in Mexico. It has proved a major technical success. The nitrogen is used to enhance oil production from the field and since coming on stream production from the field has increased by around 60%. The project is due to expand in 2005 with a fifth production plant being added.

The importance of Asia

Asia/Pacific is now BOC’s largest region (by turnover) and BOC continues to grow, particularly in China – a success story that produced a series of project wins in 2004 in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing, the chemicals ‘capital’ of the country. The creation of the Japan Air Gases joint venture with Air Liquide was also a major move, the combined business increasing growth from a lower cost base.

The development of BOC’s hydrogen business has also been significant. Use of hydrogen looks set to grow even more in the future as tighter environmental regulations on cleaner-burning fuels come into force around the world. By successfully winning a number of projects, principally in Asia and the US, BOC’s hydrogen production has grown by 30% a year since 2000.

Geographic expansion has also been important, successfully acquiring and integrating industrial gases businesses in countries where we had established, but smaller, businesses, such as in Canada and Poland.

Semiconductor focus

Growth for BOC Edwards has been focused on the semiconductor business. From being a supplier of vacuum equipment and gases to this sector, the business has grown to offer a complete range of services such as wet chemicals, exhaust systems and fab management. BOC Edwards supplies eight out of the top 10 semiconductor chip manufacturers.

Growth has also been positive in BOC’s specialist businesses.

Afrox hospitals continued to perform well, reaching a scale that enabled BOC to sell the business, which was completed in March 2005.

BOC Distribution Services was re-branded Gist to reflect its development away from traditional distribution operations and to reflect its expertise in supply chain and logistics management. This move has helped develop significant new business, and since 2000, Gist has won contracts from a number of high streets brands such as Waitrose, New Look and Woolworths as well as major manufacturing companies such as Carlsberg Tetley. In addition, Gist continues to manage the logistics for Marks and Spencer foods.

Organisational improvements

The culture of BOC has been influenced considerably by the introduction of ACTS. Accountability, Collaboration Transparency and Stretch have become central to the way the company works around the world. The introduction of the Code of Conduct has also underwritten the ethical nature of the way that BOC does its business.

Safety has always been important, but BOC has put even greater effort into ensuring the safety of its employees, contractors and those whom our business ‘touches’. By moving to a much more proactive and devolved system, safety in BOC is now a part of every individual employee’s responsibility.

Throughout the early 1990s, world economies were in a parlous state. Recession and high unemployment were particularly prevalent in Europe. By the mid-1990s, economic conditions in most markets had improved and 1996 saw BOC with record sales and profits.

Then a rise in the strength of sterling started to undermine profits, and economic growth in the Asia/Pacific region also declined rapidly. The end of the Cold War led to a decline in military expenditure and consequently lower levels of industrial activity. Despite these factors and the depressed state of the semiconductor industry, BOC’s business remained resilient and it continued to make major investments in gases, particularly in Asia, the US, Latin America and Poland. BOC also actively made better use of its gases applications technology globally.

The start of the decade saw the commissioning of a record number of large, energy-efficient air separation units and a steep rise in the number of non-cryogenic plants BOC supplied.

The end of the decade witnessed the start of construction of the world’s largest nitrogen complex – a project undertaken by a BOC-led consortium to supply nitrogen for injection into the oilfield beneath the Gulf of Mexico.

Fast growth and competitiveness in the semiconductor industry led to the construction of new special gases plants in the US, UK, Taiwan and Japan, achieving impurity levels of less than 10 parts per billion.

Concern over the effects of greenhouse gases led to an explosion of interest in the environment. Sales of Vitox and Primox oxygenation systems trebled and BOC started to supply non-CFC refrigerants.

The nascent business of food and drink packaging expanded and matured and the use of nitrogen and carbon dioxide for refrigerated transport increased.

BOC’s policy through the period was to focus on its customers, introducing new gases applications to suit their requirements and improving operating efficiency to reduce costs.

The company was one of the first industrial firms to develop and implement a variety of electronic commerce tools. Soon BOC was recognised as a global leader in business-to-business electronic commerce, or e-com.

Customer service centres offering 24-hour service were established in the US, UK, South Africa, Australia and Malaysia – leading the way in this development among industrial companies. BOC’s US patent for the inhaled anaesthetic, Forane, expired, allowing generic competition to enter the market. An improved anaesthetic, Suprane, was launched and the healthcare business consolidated its various trading names under the Ohmeda banner.

The operation of the global economy and the development of truly global businesses also led to name consolidation in the gases business – the BOC Gases name being adopted by BOC’s gases business around the world. In 1990, CIG became a wholly-owned subsidiary of The BOC Group.

In 1994, BOC Distribution Services celebrated 25 years’ partnership with Marks & Spencer and by the middle of the decade it had grown to become one of the largest distribution and logistics businesses in the UK with over 1,200 vehicles and 5,000 employees.

The spectacular growth in the semiconductor industry was reflected in an equally spectacular growth in Edwards’ vacuum business. The semiconductor industry led the trend in the emergence of global customers and, to serve the needs of these customers better, in 1997 BOC Edwards was formed, bringing together both vacuum and electronic gases.

By the end of the decade, BOC Edwards was offering exhaust gas management, chemical blending and delivery systems and chillers, as well as vacuum and gases.

The slump in Asia, the downturn in the semiconductor business and the high value of sterling prompted BOC to take a hard look at its overall portfolio of businesses. As a result, in 1998 Ohmeda and the Odda calcium carbide business were sold. BOC also sold the Benelux and German gases businesses to Air Liquide.

These external events prompted not only the reshaping of the company’s portfolio, but also the biggest-ever review of the way that BOC approached its business. Project Renew was launched to produce an organisation that operated from a substantially lower cost base but which was capable of substantial sales and product growth. And the business was reorganised from a regional structure to one operating on a global line-of-business basis in four areas – Industrial and Special Products, Process Systems, BOC Edwards and Applied Gas Solutions.

The effect of this reorganisation, together with a return to stability in the world economies, produced a marked turnaround and BOC was performing well at the point in 1999 when an offer was made by Air Liquide and Air Products to acquire The BOC Group. The bid failed in May 2000.


Dealings in BOC Shares on the London Stock Exchange are expected to be suspended at 5:00 p.m. (London time) on 4 September 2006. It is expected that the Scheme will become effective on 5 September 2006 and that at 8:00 a.m. (London time) on 5 September 2006 BOC Shares will cease to be listed on the Official List and their admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled.

On 5 September 2006, the boards of BOC and Linde are pleased to announce that the recommended cash offer for The BOC Group plc (‘BOC’) by Linde AG (‘Linde’) Scheme of Arrangement has become effective and, accordingly, BOC is now a member of the Linde Group.

Established by the Brin’s Brothers; Formerly known as Brin’s Oxygen Company

Description in Italian
BOC Group ha un portafoglio internazionale di societa raggruppata per controllo di gestione e riportando in tre segmenti di affari. Queste sono Benzine & Prodotti Relativi, Salute Cura, ed Aspirapolvere Technology &Distribuzione i Servizi. BOC aggiunge valore ad una serie diversa di industrie ed organizzazione mondiale: da elettroniche a cibo; da piante di trattamento di acqua a processi chimici; da prodotti farmaceutici ad attrezzatura di anestesia sofisticata per ospedali e cliniche; dal rivestire la maggior parte del vetro di alto rendimento del mondo a distribuendo cibo, vestiti e gli altri beni consumari. Il Gruppo di BOC e uno dei fornitori principali del mondo di benzine, e di expertise e la tecnologia associate con la loro produzione, la distribuzione ed uso. Assume 35,000 persone in piu di 60 paesi, con vendite di circa #3.5 miliardo.
Business Line
Engaged in the production and distribution of industrial gases, vacuum technology, healthcare services and logistics services
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Phone: +44 1276 477222
Fax: +44 1276 471333
Country address: UNITED KINGDOM
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