LINDE has confirmed it is in talks with Praxair about merging into the world’s largest industrial gases firm.
The Wall Street Journal broke news of the talks earlier today after speaking to an anonymous source, but Linde has now responded to requests for comment with an emailed statement confirming it is in “preliminary talks about a potential merger”.
If the deal were to go ahead it would continue a trend of consolidation in the sector, which saw Air Liquide become the largest industrial gases firm after buying Airgas for US$13.4bn in a deal approved earlier this year.
Consolidation among industrial gas producers follows slower economic growth and weakening demand from industry sectors including energy and minerals.
If talks between Praxair and Linde are successful it would bring together two firms worth more than US$30bn apiece, though a deal is likely to raise significant competition concerns and face antitrust scrutiny.
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