Linde AG (Wiesbaden, Germany; has agreed to make a pre-conditional offer to acquire the entire share capital of the BOC Group plc, Windlesham, UK, for 1,600 pence in cash per share. The board of directors for BOC intends to recommend BOC shareholders to accept the offer. The making of the offer is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of European and U.S. competition authority clearance pre-conditions, and offer is subject to the requisite approval of BOC's shareholders and the English Courts. If the pre-conditions are satisfied by the end of this month, the transaction is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2006. Following the acquisition, Linde will be on the world's leading industrial gases and engineering groups with combined gas and engineering sales of approximately Euro 11.9 billion.