Exclusive: Linde and Praxair to win EU antitrust nod for $83 billion deal – sources

0
2/2 © Reuters. The Praxair logo is seen during a news conference in Munich© Reuters. The Praxair logo is seen during a news conference in Munich 2/2

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Linde (DE:) and Praxair (N:) will win approval regulatory clearance for their planned $83 billion merger after pledging to sell Praxair’s assets to boost a Japanese rival in Europe, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

German company Linde and U.S. rival Praxair announced their merger plan in June last year, with the aim of ousting French competitor Air Liquide (PA:) as global leader in gas distribution, but the European Commission opened a full-scale investigation in February.

The Commission warned that the deal could reduce competition in the supply of crucial gases such as oxygen, which has multiple uses, and helium, which is essential for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

The EU competition enforcer also worried that high investment costs could deter the entrance of new players in a sector with only four major companies globally.

But Praxair’s offer this month to sell its European assets to Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp (T:) for 5 billion euros will be sufficient to address the European Commission’s concerns, the two sources said.

The assets include Praxair’s industrial gases businesses in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Britain, and include approximately 2,500 employees.

Both the Commission, which is scheduled to rule on the deal by Aug. 24, and Linde declined to comment.

The companies are also planning to divest assets to a consortium of German gases company Messer Group and funds advised by CVC () to secure regulatory clearance in the United States and elsewhere.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here