Germany's Linde AG and U.S. rival Praxair Inc. say they have agreed on a deal to merge the two businesses, creating a global leader in the field of industrial gas with a market value of $70 billion.
Linde said Thursday that the all-stock merger with Praxair, based in Danbury, Connecticut, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.
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The two companies announced preliminary talks in August but dropped them a few weeks later. At the time, Linde said they hadn't been able to agree on details, "specifically about governance aspects."
The CEO of Munich-based Linde, Aldo Belloni, called the merger a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The companies sell gases used in manufacturing, food processing and the oil and gas industry.