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

Reuters  |  BRUSSELS 

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - and 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 and U.S. rival announced their merger plan in June last year, with the aim of ousting French competitor as global leader in gas distribution, but the 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 (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 for 5 billion euros will be sufficient to address the European Commission's concerns, the two sources said.

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

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

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

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Additional reporting by in Frankfurt; Editing by David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 21:46 IST