Lincoln Electric has begun exclusive negotiations to acquire competitor Air Liquide Welding, the welding equipment subsidiary of Paris-based Air Liquide. Lincoln said there was no guarantee that the deal would be completed.

The acquisition would boost Lincoln’s business in Europe the Middle East and parts of Asia. Air Liquide Welding reported revenues of €350 million in 2016 and employs around 2000 people. It operates through five brands: Oerlikon, Saf-Fro, Cemont, Weldteam, and Weldline.

Lincoln Electric is a US$2.5 billion business, with around 80% of that generated in North America.

Lincoln designs and manufactures arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. It is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and has 47 manufacturing locations in 19 countries.

Based in France, Air Liquide Welding makes welding and cutting products.

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