Praxair Inc. (Dusseldorf, Germany; www.praxair.com) completed the acquisition of certain industrial gas assets and related businesses in Germany from Air Liquide S.A. for 497 million euros or about $650 million. The acquisition agreement was first announced in October 2004 and has since been approved by the European and German regulatory authorities. Included in the deal were certain assets required to be sold by Air Liquide as a result of its purchase of Messer Griesheim in Germany. The acquired business comprises the southern portion of the Rhine/Ruhr pipeline and the Saar pipeline, plus bulk distribution and packaged gas businesses. It serves large customers in the refining, chemical and steel industries along the pipeline systems, plus about 40,000 smaller customers in bulk, medical, specialty and packaged gases.