US: Linde-Praxair mega merger-threatened by FTC

According to Bloomberg, the Linde-Pixair merger, which would create world’s largest industrial gas producer, is facing an unexpected hurdle from US antitrust regulator that could derail the deal.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) indicated it wants Germany’s Linde and Praxair to sell more assets before it approves their deal, Linde announced on Sunday, August 5, in a statement to the markets. The company noted a “higher likelihood” that the requirement may push total asset disposals to beyond the acceptable threshold outlined in the merger deal.

The companies’ agreement set limits on the assets they would be willing to jettison in return for regulatory clearance. Under the deal, the units to be sold must have annual sales of less than €3.7 billion (US$4.3 billion) or income before interest, depreciation of less than 1.1 billion euros. The latest requests from regulators are “more onerous than previously expected,” Linde stated.

Last month, Linde announced the sale of North American businesses with combined 2017 revenue of about US$1.7 billion. A few days earlier, Linde and Praxair agreed to sell a raft of industrial-gas plants in Europe to a Japanese competitor. They indicated at the time that additional sales may be necessary to get final approval from regulators.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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