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Linde Board Agrees To US$75 Billion Merger With Praxair

Munich, Germany: In a move that will see a combined market value of US$75 billion, revenue of US$30 billion and 88,000 staff, German industrial gas supplier Linde’s supervisory board has agreed to a merger with US peer Praxair.

The deal will create the world's biggest gases group and reunite a company split 100 years ago by World War One. Linde needs 75 percent of shareholders to tender their shares to the new company, while Praxair needs a simple majority vote at a shareholder meeting.

Executives said they were prepared to make the divestments needed to satisfy anti-trust regulators in 25 countries, particularly in the United States, but had set a threshold of US$3.7 billion in sales or US$1.1 billion in core earnings. Above these limits, either party can walk away from the deal without penalty.

The combined entity will bear the Linde name and its stock will be listed in New York and Frankfurt. Linde chairman Wolfgang Reitzle and Praxair chief executive officer Steve Angel will keep the same titles while the new company will have operations in Munich and Danbury, Connecticut, where Praxair is based. Its holding company will be in Dublin, Ireland.

The merger comes amidst a trend of industry consolidation. France’s Air Liquide SA completed its US$13 billion acquisition of Airgas last year to create what is currently the world’s largest industrial-gas supplier.

APMEN News, June 2017

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