INDUSTRIAL gas giants Linde and Praxair have agreed the terms of a merger to create a US$65bn company, which will be the largest industrial gases firm in the world.
The two companies first began merger talks in August, but these were abandoned in September after agreement could not be reached on governance. However, discussions re-started in November. They have now agreed an all-stock deal which will see Linde shareholders receive 1.540 shares in a new holding company for each share they hold, while Praxair shareholders will receive one share in the holding company.
The merged company will trade as Linde and will be listed on the New York and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Linde and Praxair will be equally represented on the new board of directors. Linde chairman Wolfgang Reitzle will chair the new company’s board. Praxair chairman and CEO, Steve Angel, will be CEO.
The companies say the merger will combine Linde’s technology leadership with Praxair’s efficient operating model and will allow more efficient service to customers.
“Under the Linde brand, we want to combine our companies’ business and technology capabilities and form a global industrial gas leader. Beyond the strategic fit, the compelling, value-creating combination would achieve a robust balance sheet and cash flow and generate financial flexibility to invest in our future,” said Aldo Belloni, CEO of Linde.
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