German industrial gas company Linde AG (LIN.XE) said 27.7% of Linde's outstanding shares had been tendered by shareholders as part of an exchange offer tied to a planned merger with Praxair Inc.(PX).
A merger with the American competitor was accepted by the companies' boards in June. For the deal to go through shareholders have to accept an exchange offer for at least 75% of Linde's outstanding shares by October 24. The new company would have a combined market value of $66.6 billion, making it the world's largest industrial-gas maker.
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The interim result of roughly 28% was "extremely positive," said Aldo Belloni, Linde's chief executive officer, in a statement published Wednesday. Numerous institutional shareholder had already or intended to accept the offer, Mr. Belloni said, but urged shareholders to tender their shares. "No matter how many shares you hold in our company, I kindly ask you to make use of your right to tender," Mr. Belloni said.
In September Mr. Belloni had told German finance and business magazine Euro that Linde may lower the minimum acceptance threshold if necessary.
Write to Max Bernhard at Max.Bernhard@dowjones.com; @mxbernhard
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 05, 2017 05:12 ET (09:12 GMT)