MUNICH Dec 16 Germany's Linde and
United States rival Praxair's latest attempt to strike a
deal has a higher chance of success thanks to extensive
assurances about preserving German sites, a top German union
representative told Reuters.
Earlier this month the companies agreed to revive talks to
create a $65 billion industrial gases giant after initial
discussions broke down in September amid disagreements on
governance of a combined company.
In remarks published on Friday, Juergen Wechsler, head of
the IG Metall union in Bavaria, said "powerful forces" within
the company are now at work to ensure that a consensus is
reached about a combination.
German unions IG BCE and IG Metall have struck a deal with
Linde's management to avoid forced redundancies in Germany
before 2021, Buechele said.
"We will try to save as much as we can," Wechsler told
"It is about employees, locations, headquarters, and about
co-determination," he said, adding that unions had already been
given far-reaching assurances including a guarantee that a site
in Dresden will not be closed.
Wolfgang Buechele, the recently departed chief executive of
Linde had sought up to 4,000 job cuts in Germany after the
company broke off initial merger talks.
On December 7, Buechele paved the way to a revived deal by
stepping down with immediate effect. "With the resumption of the
talks, a successful merger is now drawing near," Buechele said
in a statement at the time.
(Reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by