French firm moves in for gas supplier

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A YORKSHIRE-based gas supplier has been bought by a French firm, it was confirmed yesterday.

Leeds-based lawyers from Dickinson Dees have advised the management at Hull-based Energas and Engweld on the sale to Air Liquide.

Air Liquide supplies industrial gases and services to the food, energy, medical and chemical and manufacturing industries, and already has a presence in the UK.

Energas and Engweld were founded in 1960 by Alf Robinson. In recent years, under family ownership and a management team led by Mike Robinson, the companies have grown to become suppliers of packaged gases, liquefied petroleum gas and welding and engineering equipment and consumables.

Energas and Engweld have 208 staff across the UK, and total sales in 2011 were £35m.

Sylvie Villepontoux, the managing director of Air Liquide UK, said: “This acquisition brings further breadth to Air Liquide’s existing activities in the UK. It strengthens our position in this country and contributes to our growth strategy by opening up promising opportunities for expansion. This acquisition will lead to enhanced capability in the production and distribution of packaged gases to meet changing customer and market needs.”

Philip Ashworth, a partner in the corporate team at Dickinson Dees, said: “The sale was the culmination of a tremendous East Yorkshire success story and it was a privilege to be involved.”

Howard Corney, from Macfarlanes, acted for Air Liquide.