Air Liquide in Talks to Sell Diving Unit Aqua Lung to Montagu

Air Liquide SA said it’s in exclusive talks to sell diving-equipment business Aqua Lung to Montagu Private Equity as the French company narrows its focus on industrial gases.

If completed, the acquisition “will support Aqua Lung’s next phase of growth and its transformation as a major consumer products player,” Paris-based Air Liquide said in a statement on Tuesday.

A brainchild of a 1940s collaboration with oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Aqualung is a seven-decade-old specialist in professional and recreational diving equipment. It owns Aqua Sphere, a triathlete gear-maker that gained recognition in 2014 when it partnered with record Olympic gold-medal winning swimmer Michael Phelps, who had ended his relationship with Speedo. The two work together on Phelps’ own MP brand of swimwear.

Air Liquide is focusing on its gases operations following the $13.4 billion acquisition of Airgas Inc. of the U.S., the company’s biggest ever deal.

Aqua Lung generated about 200 million euros in revenue last year.

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