Linde sells its forklift division KION Group to KKR/Goldman Sachs

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co./ Goldman Sachs Capital Partners acquire the division for 4 billion euro Continuity of corporate strategy assured IPO as medium-term objective Wiesbaden, 5 November 2006 - Linde AG, Wiesbaden, has completed its review of the strategic options for its forklift division KION Group. The company has been sold to a consortium comprising the financial investors Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners at a price of 4 billion euro. A contract has accordingly been signed today. The validity of the contract will be dependent on approval being received from the appropriate competition authorities. The enterprise value of 4 billion euro consists of 3.6 billion net equity value plus 400 million euro of net financial liabilities assumed, i.e. the balance of pension obligations, net lease obligations and net liquidity. KKR/Goldman Sachs will honour all the agreements on safeguarding locations made by the Linde Executive Board with employee representatives in summer 2005. "We are utterly convinced that KKR and Goldman Sachs have the right overall concept for the group" explained Professor Wolfgang Reitzle, President of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "After carefully examining all the options, we have chosen a strong and strategically- oriented partner, who will facilitate a seamless transition and enable KION to continue on its path towards earnings-based growth." Johannes Huth, the Head of European Operations at KKR, and Alexander Dibelius, the Head of Central and Eastern Europe at Goldman Sachs, declared "KION is an extremely well-positioned company in the international industrial truck industry which has excellent prospects. Together with KION's effective management team and highly-qualified employees, we will seek to tap the undoubted potential for growth and earnings in the company and to achieve sustainable increases in its value. In the medium term, our objective is an IPO." Hubertus Krossa, Chairman of the KION Management Board, said "I am delighted that we have found strong partners in KKR and Goldman Sachs who are completely behind KION's industrial concept. Together, and with renewed vigour, we will continue on the path towards growth we have taken so far." The KION Group, which the Linde Group established as a new, legally independent umbrella company for its three forklift truck and industrial equipment brands, Linde, STILL and OM, currently has more than 20,000 employees. In the 2005 financial year, the division achieved sales of around 3.6 billion euro. KION is a market leader in Europe and stands for the highest level of technological competence. For further information: Press Uwe Wolfinger Telephone: +49.611.770-264 Mobile: +49.163.770 7130 Investor Relations Thomas Eisenlohr Telephone: +49.611.770-610 Mobile: +49.160.989 55191 Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Alexander Geiser Telephone: +49.69.92 18 74-74 Mobile: +49 173 2121 371 Goldman Sachs Capital Partners Christian Kroos Telephone: +49.89.898 396 72 Mobile: +49 172 684 9321 --- End of Message --- WKN: 648300; ISIN: DE0006483001; Index: CDAX, DAX, Prime All Share, HDAX; Listed: Prime Standard in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, Amtlicher Markt in Börse Berlin Bremen, Amtlicher Markt in Bayerische Börse München, Amtlicher Markt in Börse Düsseldorf, Amtlicher Markt in Börse Stuttgart, Amtlicher Markt in Hanseatische Wertpapierbörse zu Hamburg, Freiverkehr in Niedersächsische Börse zu Hannover, Amtlicher Markt in Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse;