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HISTORY OF THE COMPANY Founded in 1902, Air Liquide began as an idea to produce oxygen industrially using liquid air,

and came into existence after an encounter between two men: Georges Claude, the visionary and Paul Delorme, the pragmatic creator. The turn of the 19th century was a major turning point in the race to modernity, when nearly each day saw new technological advances. Georges Claudes contribution to his century entailed a project to liquefy air in order to separate its different components of oxygen, nitrogen and argon. After two years of tireless perseverance and technical setbacks, he finally succeeded on May 25, 1902 in developing a new air liquefaction process. The launch of the company was sealed with his partnership with Paul Delorme. On November 8, 1902, a public limited company was constituted with a capital of 100,000 French francs subscribed by 24 shareholders. It was thus that Air Liquide, company for the Study and Exploitation of Georges Claudes Processes, was born. Its shareholders Air Liquides flotation on the stock market marks the start of a strong and lasting relationship between the Group and its shareholders. For several years, shareholders support the nascent company by contributing successive capital increases. Air Liquide continues to grow with the help of shareholding by family and professionals. On February 20, 1913, Air Liquide is listed for the first time on the Paris stock exchange and gradually becomes a blue-chip stock on the financial market. Since its initial offering, Air Liquide has continuously generated profits. A policy of steady dividends and regular free share allocations has enabled its shareholders to secure strong returns on their initial investment. Nearly a century later, Air Liquide remains sturdy on the CAC40 index and can boast 410,000 individual shareholders who hold 38% of its capital a figure nearly four times greater than other CAC40 corporations. A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on the support and trust of its shareholders to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive growth.

Innovations Innovation is the keystone of the Groups history, allowing it to open new markets, support the development of its customers, help advance its business and play a vital role in society. In 1913, new oxycutting techniques and arc welding innovations are revolutionary tools for shipyards and the railway industry. In 1952, the cryogenic revolution changes the dimension of the company, which discovers the advantages offered by compressing large quantities of oxygen in cryogenic tanks. In 1960, Air Liquide inaugurates its first pipeline network connected to the Richemont production unit. It produces 150 tonnes of oxygen a day to supply the steel factories of the basin area. Today, Air Liquide operates 8,500 kilometers of pipeline to distribute nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. In 1987, the race to ultra-purity represents a greater stake on the burgeoning electronics market. Air Liquide takes part, primarily by working with the team of the Tsukuba Research Center to develop processes to obtain very high-purity gases. In 1988, Air Liquide reinvents its main business line. Nitrogen can now be produced directly at the customers site using membranes, a new technique. In 2002, Air Liquide creates AXANE, its subsidiary specialized in the design of fuel cells supplied with hydrogen.

In 2008, the Group has eight research centers in Europe, Asia and America and files for a patent every business day. Air Liquide relies on its strong innovative capacity to develop competitive solutions and support the transformation of its customers and markets. Its activities Since its creation in 1902, Air Liquide has been continuously reinventing its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. In 1930, increasing numbers of shipyards and the developing railway industry contribute to advances in welding using oxy-acetylene flame torches and gas welding integrated solutions. In 2009, Air Liquide continues to offer varied and innovating welding and cutting solutions to respond to current technological challenges. 1946 marks the debut of the diving activity, when Air Liquide collaborates with Commander Cousteau to invent the first autonomous diving suit with a pressure regulator (CG45). Today, the Groups subsidiary, Aqualung, is the number one manufacturer of scuba diving equipment. In the 1950s, Air Liquide becomes a partner in the medical market creating the Healthcare activity, separate from the industrial division. Air Liquide is a major actor in hospital and healthcare. In 1961, Air Liquide embarks on the space adventure by creating the Research Center for Low Temperature Applications near Grenoble (France). In 1973, the Ariane program is launched, in which Air Liquide has been active from the start by supplying different generations of launchers from Ariane I to Ariane V, still used today. In 1985, with the electronics market in full development in Asia, and particularly Japan, Air Liquide becomes the key supplier for the semi-conductor industry thanks to its long-standing presence in this region of the world. In 1995, after oxygen and nitrogen, Air Liquide completes its offer with hydrogen and cogeneration, which produces steam and power. In 2009, Air Liquide launches the H2E program to quickly develop and market the first applications of clean and silent hydrogen energy. Today, Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment and oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases are at the core of the Groups activities. A global presence Understanding from the beginning the value of close relations with its global customers, Air Liquide quickly set out to develop internationally. Today, the Group is present in 75 countries. As of 1906, the companys global expansion takes off at a staggering rate, with a new country added every year to the Air Liquide world map. This momentum starts in Europe with Belgium in 1906, Italy, Greece and Spain in 1909, and later continues into other continents, to include Japan in 1907 and Canada a few years later. Entities are also located in Russia, Germany, and the Far East; Air Liquide thus follows the industrial growth trend in large countries, notably responding to a strong demand for oxygen used for welding processes. In 1916, Air Liquide ventures into the United States and also establishes itself in China. Its international boom pursues its course into the rest of Asia in Singapore in 1917 and Malaysia in 1927, before confirming itself in the Middle East in Lebanon in 1928. In the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, the Air Liquide Group develops in South America, and reinforces its presence in Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. The following decades arre spent securing its presence on all the continents. At the start of the 21st century, the Group bolsters its activities in Europe with the acquisition of its rival, Messer (2005), and expands its technological portfolio with the acquisition of the German engineering company, Lurgi (2007).

This new century is also characterized by firm positions taken in high potential emerging economies in Egypt (2002), Qatar (2004), Oman (2005), Kuweit (2006), Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (2008), but also in China where the Group is present in the majority of regions enjoying dynamic economic growth. In 2008, Air Liquide expands throughout India, particularly in the health industry. Today, the diversity of Air Liquides markets and geographical presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to conquer new territories.

ENVIRONMENT Natural environment Air Liquide is present in over 75 countries. It own plants in Africa and Middle East, America, Asia and Europe. The diversity of Air Liquides teams, businesses, markets and geographic presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and build its future. Wherever Air Liquide operates, its subsidiaries are integrated into local cultures and traditions while transmitting the Groups values through their action and local commitment. Technological environment In terms of technological influences, the Air Liquide sites are located in countries well developped, where the skills of the work force serve to a safe production of gas, through some researches we didnt find any disaster caused by this company, and they invested a high percentege of their profit to improve the sites and the research in order to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport and in the production process. Air Liquide is also developing combustion processes that use oxygen rather than air.Many industrial processes such as manufacturing glass, aluminum, steel must heat or melt raw materials. They traditionally use combustion that combines a fuel (fuel oil, natural gas) and air (21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen).By replacing air with oxygen, oxycombustion makes it possible to limit nitrous oxide or NOx emissions. These emissions, which are harmful for man and the environment, are produced by the high-temperature reaction of the oxygen and nitrogen present in air.Air Liquides researchers have developed specific burners, adapted to oxygen use. They generate oxycombustion flames (2600C) that produce much more energy than air combustion flames (1900C) and optimize the injection of oxygen into industrial furnaces. Using oxycombustion also make it possible to reduce the energy consumption of the furnace. The cutting-edge expertise Air Liquide has developed is shown by over 800 patents in this field. To this date, 40% of technical glass furnaces have been converted to oxycombustions filed and their NOx emissions have been divided by 30.Today, this expertise allows our engineers to develop oxycombustion processes that will enable CO2 emissions to be efficiently captured as they are released from industrial units before being buried in the subsoil. Social environment The Air Liquide Group holds to the highest standards in how it runs its activities, especially in terms of respecting human rights, social rights and the environment. Wherever Air Liquide operates, its subsidiaries are integrated into local cultures and traditions while transmitting the

Groups values through their action and local commitment. Air Liquide respects laws and regulations, especially the rules of free competition, and prohibits any form of corruption. Integrity, transparency, constant calling into question, increased performance, through innovation and rigorous management ,continuously inspire behaviors and actions of the company. Economical environment The manufacturing success in the sites where air liquid is located is boosting demand for industrial gases in a wide range of sectors such as steel, chemicals, automobile, consumer electronics and high technologies. The gas Market is continuously growing due to the increasing consume by industries and families . In the last few decades the cost of gas decreased making it more affordable . Political environment Over the last few decades ,due to the dependency of gas from the east side of the world and Arabian countries, Political crisis brought in difficulty the gas system business in all over the Europe, for example the Ukraine and Russia dispute in the 2005/2006. During that crisis, Russia decided to close the pipeline networks to make pressure on Ukraina . This kind of addiction influenced the Air Liquide enterprise and also its competitors , as a consequence the company started to store lots of gas in case of other International crisis which could affect its business. HIERARCHY The organizational sructure of a company has generally two separate hierarchies: (1) Line hierarchy, in which the departments are revenue generators (manufacturing, selling), and their managers are responsible for achieving the organization's main objectives by executing the key functions (such as policy making, target setting, decision making); (2) Staff hierarchy, in which the departments are revenue consumers, and their managers are responsible for activities that support line functions (such as accounting, maintenance, personnel management). While both hierarchies have their own chains of command, a line manager may have direct control over staff employees but a staff manager may have no such power over the line employees. In modern practice, however, the difference in the two hierarchies is not so clear-cut and jobs often have elements of the both types of functions. In the hierarchy of Air Liquide there are only staff relations between the different units. The organizational structure of Air Liquide is divisional. In this type of structure, the different teams are organized in set of divisions, where each division corresponds to the end product or services provided by the organisation. Each division has its own set of functional units like research, manufacturing, marketing... and is completely self-contained. A divisional structure is less hierarchical than a functional; it is formed by decomposing the functional structure along the product lines. Unlike functional management is more skilled along product business and lesser in core technical competencies. Strenghts of a divisional structure: Clear accountability: structuring along the product lines provides clear correlation between the expense and profit of the individual divisions.

The business objectives of the division can be formulated more objectively and the expectations can be better agreed. Departmental coordination: an objective accountability leads to better cohesion within the boundaries of the department; it creates a win-win situation where teams have mutual benefit in collaboring with each other. Broader skills development: active collabotations between different specializations provide employees with opportunities for learning new skills beyond their own area of expertise. It is easier to comprehend the dynamics of a product and therefore is best suited for nurturing general managers in an organization. Unstable environment: since each division is product based and self-reliant, it can respond much quickly to changes in the external environment. Weaknesses of a divisional structure Resource duplication: in order to make each division independent, some of the resources which could have been shared are rather duplicated. Specialists with particular domain knowledge cannot be shared across divisional boundaries. Inhibits career growth of specialists: while divisional structures are good for nurturing top level managers, they are bad for technical specialists. Technical people feel alienated from their peers in other divisions and have poor exposure to the developments across the organizations. Divisional affiliations: the employees feel more affiliated towards their own department and would still lack the sense of being part of a larger organization, they might know their own purpose but might not understand how they might related to organizations objectives. Difficult product integration: when a company produces multiple products which might be used together or are a part of a larger product, the integration task becomes challenging since there is littl coordination between the divisions. The product management task across different division requires regular sync-ups, but the structure inherently provides little motivation for the product managers to seek this larger goal. Each divisional manager is more concerned about delivering his products and would view the integration as not part of his job or the problem.

MARKETING Healthcare: homecare business acqusitions. Air liquide has invested in France and in Netherlands in carbon dioxide recovery units. It concluded lots of contracts signed worldwide with photovoltaic indusrty leaders. The company has also developed the second generation biofuels. The Healthcare World Business Line (WBL) provides to its customers, in hospitals or at home, medical products and services that contribute to the improvement of patients quality of life, all around the world. The Groups Healthcare WBL provides the worlds hospitals with medical gases, hygiene products and related medical equipment. These products ensure that medical procedures go smoothly, especially in the sensitive areas that are the operating rooms, emergency care and intensive care units. Gases are used, for example, for anesthesia, assisted ventilation and easing certain pains. Air Liquide is also spearheading the fight against nosocomial infections, conducting highly effective research to develop targeted products for the skin, hands, instruments and surfaces. Energy

Traditional fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) are gradually decreasing whereas energy needs are constantly increasing. It is therefore essential as of today to use energy more efficiently and to develop cleaner alternative energies. Photovoltaic energy: Transforming sunlight, an inexhaustible energy source, into electricity, an old dream which is becoming a reality thanks to the progress of the photovoltaic industry, in which our researchers are taking part. From sunlight to electricity, the transformation is complex and requires using photovoltaic cells that capture the suns energy. They are generally composed of silicon-based semiconductors, and two different technologies are available to them: polycrystalline silicon or deposits of thin film on glass. These processes have one thing in common. They require the use of a large quantity of very high purity gases: nitrogen, hydrogen, monosilane, specialty gases to enable the silicon to be doped. Using their expertise in very high purity gases for the electronics industry or the manufacturing of flat screens, the Groups researchers have developed innovative solutions to meet the needs of the photovoltaic industry. The ALUX offer provides manufacturers with all the gases required to produce cells, as well as the related equipment to distribute these gases right to their point of use. Today, research continues with a dual objective: reducing the cost of the energy produced and developing more environmentally friendly new processes. Second-generation biofuels: Air Liquide is taking part in the development of the Bioliq process which transforms the non-edible part of plants into synthesis gas, then into secondgeneration biofuels. Second-generation biofuels come from the biomass and products based on the non-edible part of plants (straw, wood, plant waste). They allow up to 90% cuts in CO 2 emissions compared to fossil fuels and, unlike first-generation biofuels, they do not compete with the use of raw materials as food. To demonstrate the feasibility of producing secondgeneration biofuels, Air Liquide has developed Bioliq, a three-stage process. During the first stage, the straw is converted into synthetic crude: Bioliq SynCrude. The second stage consists in heating this liquor to gasify it and produce syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, then converted into methanol. Air Liquides researchers have completed the development of the SynCrude production unit and have started the development of the gasification unit. Hydrogen: producing clean energy: Faced with growing energy needs and the depletion of fossil fuels to come, hydrogen is an obvious choice as an alternative energy carrier that is both efficient and nonpolluting. Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier for generating clean and silent power. Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen generates power, emitting nothing but water. Consequently, it is a prime fuel to drive cars with an electric engine that generates power onboard.Spectacular progress has been made in the hydrogen energy field over the last few years. Through their exhaustive knowledge of whole hydrogen chain, the Groups researchers have play an active role in these achievements.They are developing new innovative solutions for storing hydrogen, for example, tanks to keep hydrogen under a pressure of 700 bar. They are also working on distribution stations so that a vehicle can be filled up under conditions identical to those for traditional liquid fuels. Engineers at AXANE, a Group subsidiary, are moving technologies forward: they have already divided the cost of their fuel cell by 10 in four years. Air Liquides researchers are also testing new technologies in the framework of life-style demonstration projects. These projects are also an opportunity to familiarize the general public with these new technologies.

High tech

Air Liquides researchers and engineers have developed a unique expertise in gases under exceptional conditions: very high pressure, very low temperatures and very high purity. It has enabled them to develop innovative solutions, which drive knowledge and technologies forward. More efficient chips: To meet the needs of the electronics industry, which produces increasingly faster components, Air Liquide has developed ALOHA, a range of high-performance molecules. Chips are omnipresent in our daily life: computers, mobile phones, MP3 players, etc. Air Liquide plays a large role in their manufacturing by notably supplying carrier gases (nitrogen, hydrogen, etc.), specialty gases and fluid distribution systems. To manufacture increasingly efficient chips with strengthened functions, the semiconductor industry must constantly make the materials that compose the chips evolve. Working closely with customers and cutting-edge research institutes, the Groups teams develop new molecules called advanced precursors. During the chip manufacturing process, the molecules will react to deposit solid materials like copper, ruthenium or zirconium. These materials are more efficient than those generally used. Air Liquide researchers have developed a range of advanced precursors, custom-made for the Groups customers. These molecules, combined with the equipment needed to use them, comprise the ALOHA offer, constantly updated. Cryogenics (cold for space): A partner for over 50 years in the space adventure, Air Liquides specialists have developed a unique expertise in low temperature cryogenic technologies indispensable to carrying out space missions.Expertise in very low temperatures, close to absolute zero (0 K = -273.15 C), makes the Groups engineers key partners in the development of onboard cooling systems for space missions.To guarantee the measurements precision, satellite's detectors must be maintained at an extremely cold temperature. The Group manufactured two major pieces of equipment for Planck and Herschel satellites which mission is to better understand the formation and evolution of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present day. Both satellites have the same requirements to reach the expected performance level: being cooled at extremely low temperatures.For Herschel, Air Liquide manufactured a 2,400 liters tank to store superfluid helium at a very low temperature. Helium is used to cool the instruments placed in the focus of the telescope to about 1.5 K. For Planck, working with the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), Air Liquides engineers designed a cryogenic system that maintains the detector at a temperature of 0.1 K. Once it is operational, Planck will then become the coldest point in space. The LHC,at the heart of the worlds mysteries: The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the CERNs particle accelerator, was inaugurated on October 21, 2008. Air Liquide played a major role in meeting this both technological and human challenge.The LHC is the worlds most powerful particle accelerator. Composed of a 27-kilometer ring, it has 1,700 superconducting magnets to produce magnetic fields with 100,000 times greater than the earths magnetic fields. This tool will help to bring out in the open some important mysteries of fundamental physics: the origin of matter, the Big Bang theory etc.Since 1995, Air Liquides engineers have been involved in this unique project, which has represented many challenges because of its extraordinary size and technical requirements. First and foremost a technical and scientific challenge, as they developed all the cryogenic systems to handle the distribution of 100 metric tons of superfluid liquid helium at a temperature of -271 (close to absolute zero) along the 27 kilometers. They also developed the worlds longest and most complex cryogenic distribution line.Next, an industrial and logistics challenge, because our experts supervised the manufacturing of over 3,000 parts, produced in five factories in four European countries. Last, they met a human challenge by working 100 meters underground, in an area straddling France and Switzerland with access only every three kilometers. Nuclear fusion, the energy of the future: The mastery of nuclear fusion offers the potential to generate power in another way to meet the growing energy needs worldwide.Nuclear fusion is

the reaction that occurs all the time at the suns core and that transforms hydrogen into helium, generating a large quantity of energy. Mastering this reaction will make it possible to produce a large amount of energy, which is then transformed into power. A Tokamak is a physics based instrument whose purpose is to generate plasmas which enable to reach the conditions required for the controlled nuclear fusion of atoms. In order to obtain the very powerful electromagnetic fields necessary for the confinement of this physical reaction, superconducting magnets must be used, which only function at extremely low temperatures. It is liquid helium which enables such temperatures to be maintained within the Tokamak. The Groups engineers have designed, produced and put in operation a new superfluid helium liquefaction and distribution system to bring the entire device down to a temperature of -269 C. Building from recognized expertise in the scientific and industrial world, Air Liquide has been working for more than 20 years on the most important nuclear fusion projects and notably: Tore Supra in France, JET in Great Britain, SST-1 in India. The Group's teams will be able to bring their expertise to the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project, designed to show the feasibility of power generation through nuclear fusion.

RATIO COMMENTS Liquidity ratios These type of ratios provide information about a firms ability to meet its short-term financial obbligations. They are of particular interest to those extending short-term credit to the company and measure the avaiability of cash to pay debts. Two frequently-used liquidity ratios are the current ratio (or working capital ratio) and the acidtest ratio. Current ratio (Working Capital Ratio): Current Assets / Current Liabilities Air liquid is able to pay its Current Liabilities with the Current Assets, also without considering inventory, as we could see from the Acid-test ratio: Acid-Test ratio: Current Assets Inventory / Current Liabilities The acid test ratio measures the immediate amount of cash immediately available to satisfy short term debt. Activity Ratios Activity ratios help investors evaluate a firms ability to effectively and efficiently manage its operations and assets. The most commonly used activity ratios include: average payment period, average collecion period, inventory turnover, debt ratio, D/E ratio, Time interest earned ratio. The average collection period show that the company collect on time to pay the bills and debts and so there isnt a lquidity problem at all. Every year the invetory turns over about 7 times , this is due to the kind of products sold by air liquid.

The debt ratio show that the company, in the balance sheet, is in debt for more than a half ( 66 %) and in 2009 this ratio increased. The D/E ratio shows that the Long terms debt are bigger than the equity, but industrial companies like air liquid can afford to have this high d/e ratio because the income they will generate in the future will ensure that they can meet interest and payments without much danger . Air Liquide can also pay the financial interests as showed by the Time interest earned ratio, which is 37, because the payments are covered by the operating income of the firm. Finally, the Roe illustrates the profitability of the company , which is pretty high ( 17 %) , this ratio attracts lots of shareholders that could invest in Air Liquide . CASH FLOW Through analyzing the cash flow ,air liquid company generate revenues from its core business increasing in 2009 of 6,5 %,concerning the investiments activities in 2009 it decreased of 32% , this means that in 2008 the company has invested a lot of money in property and plants and in 2009 they dont need to invest as the year before. Taking into account the financing activities in 2009 the company started to pay back its debts , so the amount in the cash flow is negative. The net cash flow decreased from 2008 to 2009 of 63% , this is due to the fact that they are paying back the borrowings.

COMPETITORS ANALYSIS We have analyzed 3 companies, Linde Ag, Air gas and Eni, they sell almost the same products and they are in concurrency. Although there are big differencies between these companies , the structure as an industrial company is the same , the amounts are quiet different so we just analyze through Ratios our speech. The acid test ratio shows , comparing with the other companies , that air liquid can pay its current liabilities in the whole amount, The best company withouth liquidity problems is Linde Ag, because it collects money every 76 days and it has to pay every 438, Comparing the roe , the airgas is the most profitable company also if there is no so much difference from Air Liquide. To sum up our company doesnt have any financial problems and liquidity problems and it can compete in the Energy market withouth any problem, also because it invests a huge amount of money to develop new technologies as we said in the marketing analysis.