News Release

Air Water acquires three industrial gas companies from Mitsui Chemicals.

Mar 18, 2005

Air Water Inc. (AWI) and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc (Mitsui Chemicals) have reached agreement whereby Mitsui Chemicals will transfer the shares it holds in affiliates Mitsui Chemicals Air Water, Inc, Nippon Fine Gas, Inc. and Senboku Oxygen Co., Ltd. to AWI.

Through this transfer Mitsui Chemicals Air Water, and Nippon Fine Gas will become wholly owned Air Water subsidiaries, while Senboku Oxygen will become an Air Water affiliate, with Air Water holding 75% of the shares.

AWI and Mitsui Chemicals will continue to maintain their partnership in the industrial gas area.

I. Background

Senboku Oxygen was founded in 1969, and Nippon Fine Gas in 1984. In 2001 plans emerged for investment in Mitsui Chemicals Air Water. These companies have since been operated as joint ventures of Mitsui Chemicals and AWI. Agreement has now been reached whereby AWI will take over the shares held by Mitsui Chemicals in these companies, as well as the operation.

II. Overview

・ Number of shares transferred
Number of shares transferred
Ratio of equity held
(after the transfer)
Ratio of equity held
(before the transfer)
Mitsui Chemicals
Air Water
24 AWI 100% AWI 50%
Mitsui Chemicals 50%
Nippon Fine Gas 1 AWI 100% AWI 50%
Mitsui Chemicals 50%
Senboku Oxygen 140 AWI 75%
Mitsui Chemicals 5%
Mitsui & Co., LTD. 20%
AWI 40%
Mitsui Chemicals 40%
Mitsui & Co., LTD. 20%

Date of transfer : March 31, 2005

III. Name changes

Nippon Fine Gas and Senboku Oxygen will maintain their current names but Mitsui Chemicals Air Water will be known as Air Water Carbonic Inc. after the transfer of shares.

IV. Appointment of corporate officers

Appointment of corporate officers has yet to be determined.

CONTACT: S. Kishi and J. Ishino
Public Relations, Air Water Inc.
20-16, Higashi Shinsaibashi 1-chome,
Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0083
Tel: 06-6252-5411 Fax: 06-6252-3965

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