Praxair Asks Linde to Resume Merger Talks

Deal appeared to crumble in September, would create largest gases distributor in world.

Industrial gases company Praxair Inc. (NYSE: PX), Danbury, CT, said it has approached Linde AG about resuming discussions of a potential merger, but didn't comment further. The deal would create the largest gases supplier in the world with more than $30 billion in annual revenue.

The merger was first discussed in August, but shareholder representatives on Linde's supervisory board in September recommended ending the talks, a move agreed to by Linde's CEO.

"While the strategic rationale of a merger has been principally confirmed, discussions about details, specifically about governance aspects, did not result in a mutual understanding," Linde noted in a statement.

If talks resume and the merger eventually happens, it would be another blockbuster deal for the gases & welding equipment sector, which saw Air Liquide complete its $10.3 billion acquisition of Airgas Inc. in May.

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