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December 21, 2016

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Gas giant to be born in US$65b merger

GERMAN industrial gases maker Linde and its US competitor Praxair yesterday said they have agreed the terms of a proposed US$65 billion “merger of equals” to create a global giant in the sector.

The agreement, which paves the way for the deal to be finalized, comes after a previous attempt at a tie-up failed in September amid reports of executive infighting over key positions and their locations.

“Linde and Praxair today announced that the companies intend to combine in a merger of equals under a new holding company,” the two firms said in a joint statement.

“Under the Linde brand, we want to combine our companies’ business and technology capabilities and form a global industrial gas leader,” Linde CEO Aldo Belloni said.

By joining forces, the two groups would overtake Linde’s historic French rival Air Liquide as the world’s No. 1 industrial gas supplier, with combined annual revenues of more than US$30 billion.

In the statement, Linde and Praxair estimated that the new combined company would have a “market value in excess of US$65 billion.”

The merger would lead to annual savings of around US$1 billion, they added, “driven by scale benefits, cost savings and efficiency improvements.”

The new combined company will be listed on the New York and the Frankfurt stock exchanges.


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