Industrial gases company Praxair Inc. (NYSE: PX), Danbury, CT, and Linde AG have agreed to merge. The deal will create the largest gases supplier in the world with more than $30 billion in annual revenue.
The combined company, to be governed by a single board of directors with equal representation from Linde and Praxair, plans to adopt the Linde name, with corporate functions split between Danbury, CT, and Munich, Germany.
"The strategic combination between Linde and Praxair would leverage the complementary strengths of each across a larger global footprint and create a more resilient portfolio with increased exposure to long-term macro growth trends," said Steve Angel, Praxair CEO. "We consider this to be a true strategic merger, as it brings together the capabilities, talented people and best-in-class processes of both companies, creating a unique and compelling opportunity for all of our stakeholders."
"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, Linde CEO.
Merger talks opened in August, but the following month Linde decided to end discussions. Praxair approached Linde earlier this month about resuming talks, offering "concessions to Linde (that) include giving the German group's Munich headquarters a bigger role than initially planned and as well as providing some job guarantees," according to a Reuters report.
The merger 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.