Industrial gas company Linde and its U.S. competitor Praxair favor Dublin as the seat for a holding company after their planned merger, according to Handelsblatt’s industry sources in the United States.
London and Amsterdam were previously mooted as possible options. The British capital, however, has fallen out of favor due to Brexit, and regulations in the Netherlands are viewed as too burdensome.
Though Dublin is the clear favorite, Linde and Praxair have not yet made an official decision.
Handelsblatt’s U.S. sources dismissed any suggestion that Dublin was favored due to Ireland’s tax system, which is known to be favorable to corporations. The gas business is very localized, the sources said, with production kept in close proximity to industrial customers. That means most taxes are paid locally, the sources said.
The tie-up still faces opposition in Germany, where the powerful IG Metall trade union has expressed concern that the deal would effectively amount to a takeover of Linde by Praxair.
The deal has been pitched as a merger of equals, though Praxair Chief Executive Steve Angel would run the merged company from the United States.
Politicians in Linde’s homestate of Bavaria have also expressed concern that the merger could lead to layoffs and jeopardize the company’s headquarters in Munich.
“Munich may not be weakened as a location and jobs must be preserved,” Ilse Aigner, Bavaria’s economic minister, told Handelsblatt.
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Handelsblatt Global.