The Praxair-Linde AG merger has taken another step forward, with the latter’s board voting to approve the deal, which would create the world’s largest industrial-gas maker.
Praxair, headquartered in Danbury, and the Munich-based Linde expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Based on 2016 reported results, the combination will create a company with pro forma revenues of approximately $29 billion prior to adjustments, potential divestitures and regulatory limitations, and a combined current market value in excess of $70 billion.
The merged company is expected to realize approximately $1.2 billion in annual synergies and cost reduction programs that are expected to be achieved over a period of approximately three years following closing, the firms said.
Linde said the two companies would become subsidiaries of a new holding company, to be incorporated in Ireland with its board meetings held in the U.K. The entity would seek inclusion on the S&P 500 and Germany’s DAX 30 indexes, Linde said.
Praxair’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Angel would become CEO of the merged group and manage it out of Praxair’s U.S. headquarters in Danbury, while Linde Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle will retain that role in the merged company.
Praxair was once the U.S. arm of the German company before it was sold to Union Carbide and then spun off as a separate entity in 1992.