Industrial gas makers Linde, Praxair confirm merger talks

FRANKFURT – Industrial gas makers Linde AG and Praxair Inc. have confirmed they are in talks about a possible merger.

Linde, based in Munich, Germany, said in a statement Tuesday that the talks are preliminary and that “it is currently not foreseeable whether there will be any kind of transaction.”

Praxair, headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, had a similar statement and both companies described the potential deal as a merger.

Linde shares traded up 11 per cent on the day at 154.70 euros in Europe while Praxair rose 5.4 per cent to $124.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Linde has 64,500 employees in 100 countries, while Praxair, headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, has 26,000 employees in more than 50 countries. Praxair North America is its largest business group with over 10,000 staff.

The companies sell gases used in a wide range of applications including manufacturing, food processing and the oil and gas industry.