Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Industrial gas makers Linde, Praxair announce merger deal

Industrial gas makers Linde, Praxair announce merger deal

Corporate functions will be split between Munich and Danbury.

The German industrial gas company Linde and US -based Praxair announced they had entered into a definitive business combination agreement, a move that followed a May statement that they had reached an agreement in principle to merge. As the "Wall Street Journal" reports on August 16, 2016, Linde is considering to merge with its American competitor Praxair. 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.

Linde was up 2.91% at 174.90 in late trading in Frankfurt, while Praxair was up 2.49% at $135.59 at 1.11 pm in NY. The deal would create a company with a combined market capitalisation of $74 billion, based on that day's closing prices.

The 68-year-old, a highly sought-after executive in Germany who twice narrowly missed becoming CEO of luxury carmaker BMW, will become chairman of the merged company, while Praxair CEO Steve Angel will be chief executive.

Within the new company, Linde's Christian Bruch will lead engineering, Bernd Eulitz will lead the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets and Sanjiv Lamba will head the Asia-Pacific market, Angel said.

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It will be governed by a 12-member board of directors with equal representation from Linde and Praxair. Linde´s supervisory board chairman, Wolfgang Reitzle, will become chairman of the new holding company´s board.

The boards of gas-makers Linde and Praxair approved an all-share merger of the two companies on June 1. "The new company is well positioned in all key markets and regions and can build on its exceptional R&D expertise", he added.

The combined company would be listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard), while inclusion on the the S&P 500 and DAX 30 indices would be sought after the merger.

State and local officials said in December that they expect the company to retain a strong presence in Danbury.

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