Air Products & Chemicals Inc. is selling its Continental Europe home care business to The Linde Groupe of Germany for 590 million euros ($749.9 million), the Pennsylvania-based company said Monday.

The business being sold provides oxygen therapy, sleep therapy, and infusions, and it operates in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

The operations have a base of about 260,000 patients and reported revenue of approximately 210 million euros ($266.9 million) in 2011, the company said. They employed 850 people.

Munich-based Linde said it generated about 280 million euros ($355.9 million) from oxygen, sleep and infusion therapies in 2010.

Air Products Chairman, President and CEO John McGlade said the operations being sold are "no longer a natural fit with our core gases business." He added that the company's "growth strategy lies in the energy, environmental and emerging markets in which we continue to see significant opportunities."

Air Products, based in Lehigh Valley, Pa., said it is also evaluating its options for its home care business in the U.K., Ireland, Argentina, and Brazil.

Its shares slipped 34 cents to $85.98 in morning trading Monday. Its shares have risen 19 percent from a 52-week low of $72.26 on Oct. 4. They peaked over the past year at $98 a share in July.