June 2, 2017 / 10:56 AM / 4 months ago

Linde sees U.S. disposals as part of Praxair merger remedies

Praxair Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel (R) poses with Linde Chief Executive Officer Aldo Belloni before a news conference in Munich, Germany June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

MUNICH (Reuters) - Linde (LING.DE) and Praxair (PX.N) expect to have to divest assets above all in the United States to satisfy anti-trust concerns as the two industrial gases groups prepare for their $73 billion merger, Linde’s chief executive said.

Aldo Belloni declined to give more details at a news conference on Friday of the analysis the two companies had made of what they may have to sell, but said they had defined a “pain threshold” at which point they would revisit the merger deal.

Praxair Chief Executive Steve Angel said: “If half of your businesses are forced to be divested then maybe you don’t have a strategic logic any more,” adding that neither party expected this to happen.

The boards of German Linde and U.S.-based Praxair agreed on Thursday night to approve the merger, which will create the world’s biggest industrial gases group if it is completed, overtaking France’s Air Liquide (AIRP.PA).

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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