Linde, Praxair Boards Approve Merger -- Update

By William Wilkes and Monica Houston-WaeschFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

The boards of Praxair Inc. and Germany's Linde AG have voted to approve a merger that would create the world's largest industrial-gas maker with a combined market value of $66.6 billion.

Linde said Thursday 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, Linde said.

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Linde said that 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.

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.

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.

Linde Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle would retain that role in the merged company.

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.

Regulatory approval remains outstanding, Linde said Thursday. Some analysts have said that the two companies may need to shed operations generating as much as $5 billion in annual sales to satisfy regulators.

Write to Monica Houston-Waesch at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2017 16:35 ET (20:35 GMT)