FRANKFURT Germany's Linde (LING.DE) has for a second time rejected a request for a shareholder vote at its annual general meeting next month on its planned $65 billion merger with U.S. industrial gases rival Praxair (PX.N).
Linde said shareholders would in any case have to decide individually whether to accept a public offer from the new combined holding company, so a vote at the AGM on May 10 would not be appropriate.
"Even if a qualified majority of Linde shareholders would accept the exchange offer, not a single Linde shareholder will be forced to exchange his shares," it said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Linde was responding to a renewed request from German private-investor association DSW, which came on behalf of shareholders Aberdeen Asset Management and BayernInvest.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan and Jens Hack; Editing by Edward Taylor)