October 20, 2017 / 3:08 PM / 2 years ago

Linde passes important 50 percent threshold in Praxair tender

Linde Chief Executive Officer Aldo Belloni (L-R) and Praxair Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel shake hands at a news conference in Munich, Germany June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial gases group Linde LING.DE has passed an important threshold in its exchange offer for the planned $80 billion (£60.6 billion) merger with U.S. peer Praxair PX.N.

Linde said on Friday that shareholders representing 50.85 percent of its capital have accepted the offer, as an Oct. 24 deadline approaches to reach 75 percent acceptance.

Passing the 50 percent threshold paves the way for passive funds, such as exchanged-traded funds replicating Germany’s blue chip DAX index, to also tender their shares.

Roughly 10-13 percent of Linde’s shares are held by such funds and one UK fund already tendered its shares on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner, editing by David Evans

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