EU regulator approves Linde-Praxair deal

Monday, 20. August 2018 16:59

The European Commission approved German chemical company Linde AG's $80 billion merger with American firm Praxair Inc. The Commission noted that it backed the deal since the gases that the two companies supply, such as oxygen and helium, are "crucial inputs for a large variety of products."

"There are very few companies in the world capable of supplying all these gases. With this decision, we make sure that the merger of Praxair and Linde will not result in further concentration in Europe and that customers will continue to benefit from competition in these markets," EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager stated on Monday.

The decision was made following an in-depth investigation over concerns the deal may reduce competition and increase prices. The two companies agreed to divest some of their assets in an attempt to secure regulatory clearance. Linde sold most of its operations in the United States for $3.3 billion, while Praxair disposed of the majority of its European assets in a $5 billion deal with Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp. (TNSC).

Linde rose 0.75% at 4:58 pm CET, while Praxair jumped 1.15% at 4:43 pm CET.

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