Their merger will create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gas. But the $75 billion deal between German company Linde and US Praxair is not cut and dried yet.
EU antitrust regulators are set to announce on Friday that it will start an in-depth review, a so-called phase 2 investigation, of the planned merger. The crux of the matter: The selection of potential buyers for company parts that Linde and Connecticut-based Praxair want to sell to defuse antitrust concerns.
Competition officials in Brussels hope that these parts will be sold to one or several strong competitors in Europe – instead of many small regional competitors – Handelsblatt learned. “The European Commission wants to see a similar heavyweight taking over,” a source familiar with the negotiations told Handelsblatt. Major competitors such as Air Liquide and Air Products, but also the German competitor Messer Group, could be top choices.