Linde Says Shareholders May Tender Shares for Praxair Merger

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Linde AG said on Tuesday its shareholders may tender shares with immediate effect in its planned merger with U.S. peer Praxair Inc., creating the world's largest industrial gas maker with a combined market value of around $66.6 billion.

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Linde shareholders will get 1.54 shares in the new company for each Linde AG share tendered. The offer period runs from Aug. 15 through October 24.

The companies provide specialty gases such as helium and pure oxygen, used in many applications, and clients are predominantly oil drillers, chemical makers and hospitals, as well as food producers and manufacturers.

"Our shareholders now have the historic opportunity to make an active decision to exchange their shares and thus become part of a new global gases group," Linde Chief Executive Aldo Belloni said in the statement.

Praxair shareholders will vote on the merger at a special meeting to be held on Sept. 27. For the deal to go through, Praxair shareholders would need to approve the deal and accept a public exchange offer of a minimum of 75% of Linde shares outstanding.

Linde has said the two companies would become subsidiaries of a new holding company, to be incorporated in Ireland with its board meetings held in the U.K. The entity would seek inclusion on the S&P 500 and Germany's DAX 30 indexes.

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According to the plan, Praxair Chief Executive Steve Angel would become CEO of the merged group and manage it out of Praxair's U.S. headquarters in Danbury, Conn.

A merger between the two would be a reunion of sorts; Praxair was once the U.S. arm of the German company before it was sold to Union Carbide and then spun off as a separate entity in 1992.

--Write to Monica Houston-Waesch at nikki.houston@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 04:37 ET (08:37 GMT)