PRAXAIR is in talks to buy rival Linde in a move that would create the world’s largest industrial gases firm, according to reports.
The talks are at an early stage, according to a source who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on the condition of anonymity. 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.
Linde declined to comment. Praxair has not yet responded to The Chemical Engineer’s request for comment.
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