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Linde, Praxair reach agreement on details of merger

Investors and workers are equally represented on Linde's supervisory board, which must approve deal

Reuters  |  Frankfurt 

Linde Group logo is seen at a company building in Munich-Pullach, Germany
Linde Group logo is seen at a company building in Munich-Pullach, Germany

German industrial gases group and US peer have reached a deal in principle on details of their proposed $70 billion merger, said on Wednesday.

The all-share of equals, intended to create a market leader that will overtake France's Air Liquide, had fallen behind schedule due to complex talks over a Business Combination Agreement formalising the deal.

The agreement still needs the approval of Praxair's board of directors as well as Linde's management and executive boards, said, adding that signing the agreement was no guarantee the deal would be completed.

Labour representatives at fiercely oppose the planned merger, mainly because moving the headquarters outside will dilute their influence, which currently gives them an effective veto over strategic decisions.

The have said that the new combined would be run out of Danbury, Connecticut by Praxair's CEO Steve Angel, with supervisory board Chairman as chairman. The headquarters of the new holding company will probably be in Ireland.

Investors and workers are equally represented on Linde's supervisory board, which must approve the deal.

Linde's Reitzle told Reuters this month that he would be reluctant but prepared to use his casting vote as chairman in the event of a stalemate with labour representatives.

German weekly WirtschaftsWoche earlier on Wednesday cited sources as saying that Linde's supervisory board would vote on the agreement next week.

Shares in were up 4 percent at 172.55 euros by 1449 GMT, while was 2.5 percent higher at $133.18.

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