Linde and Praxair to Win EU Antitrust Nod for $83B Deal

Reuters, July 13, 2018

Linde and Praxair 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 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 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.

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

Click here to read the full article from Reuters.

Copyright 2018 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Job Postings

Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.

Asset Intelligence Reports

Download brief primers on various asset integrity management topics.


Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.