Praxair to merge with Linde

Linde and Praxair produce and distribute industrial gases

The combined company is expected to benefit from approximately $1.2B in annual synergies and cost reductions



Linde (LNEGY) has signed a legally binding business combination agreement with Praxair (PX) governing the terms and conditions of a merger of equals between the two companies.

The agreement provides for a combination of the businesses of the Linde group and the Praxair group under a publicly traded new holding company, which will bear the Linde name.

The new holding company will be incorporated in Ireland while its principal governance activities, including board meetings, will primarily be based in the United Kingdom.

Group corporate functions will be appropriately split between Danbury, Connecticut and Munich, Germany.

The company will apply for an admission for the trading of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and will seek inclusion in the S&P 500 and the DAX 30 indices.

Praxair will become a subsidiary of “New Holdco” through a merger and Linde will become a subsidiary of New Holdco through a public exchange offer to all shareholders of Linde.

Linde shareholders will be offered 1.54 shares in New Holdco for each Linde share and Praxair shareholders will receive one share in New Holdco for each Praxair share.

Upon completion, former Praxair shareholders and former Linde shareholders will each own approximately 50% of the outstanding shares of New Holdco. The membership in the board of directors of New Holdco will also be split 50:50.

Linde’s current Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Wolfgang Reitzle, will become Chairman of the new holding company’s board. Praxair’s current Chairman and CEO, Steve Angel, will become CEO and a member of the board of #NewHoldco.

The management team of New Holdco will also be appropriately split between #Linde and #Praxair executives.

The combined company is expected to benefit from approximately $1.2B in annual synergies and cost reductions, targeted to be achieved in approximately three years following closing. The figures include existing cost reduction programs already initiated by the two companies, including an amount of approximately $310 million from Linde’s existing LIFT program.

“Linde understands that the combined company intends to achieve the total amount of synergy and efficiency savings irrespective of the allocation to the respective underlying drivers,” the company noted.

The expected one-time costs of achieving these cost reductions and synergies are estimated to be approximately $1B including transaction costs. The consummation of the business combination is subject to certain conditions, including the acceptance of the exchange offer to Linde shareholders by a minimum of 75% of the outstanding Linde shares. Closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the second half of 2018.

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The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility.

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