Linde, Praxair Merger Reaches 92% Shareholder Acceptance

By Sonia Amaral Rohter and Marc Navarro Gonzalez Features Dow Jones Newswires

Linde AG (LINU.XE) said Wednesday that the final results of its exchange offer showed that 92% of its outstanding shares have been tendered by shareholders as part its planned merger with Praxair Inc. (PX).

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The tender process has now been completed, the German industrial gas company added, and no further shares can be tendered. Since the acceptance level in the exchange offer reached 90%, holding company Linde PLC could initiate a squeeze-out once the business combination is completed, but no decision to do so has been taken yet.

For the deal to go through without being subjected to U.S. taxation, shareholders had to accept a tender offer for at least 74% of Linde AG's outstanding shares by midnight Nov. 24 in exchange for shares in Linde PLC, a holding company. Below a 74% acceptance threshold there was a risk that Linde PLC, a U.K.-domiciled entity, could be subject to U.S. taxation. The 74% threshold was reached three weeks ago.

The merger with Praxair would result in the world's largest gas corporation. Both companies expect the operation to generate annual synergies of approximately $1 billion.

The deal is subject to antitrust and other regulatory approvals and Linde AG expects it to be completed in the second half of 2018.

Write to Sonia Amaral Rohter at sonia.amaralrohter@dowjones.com and Marc Navarro Gonzalez at marc.navarrogonzalez@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 29, 2017 09:10 ET (14:10 GMT)