U.S. industrial gas supplier Praxair and German peer Linde have held initial talks about a merger to create a market leader with a value of more than $60 billion. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. industrial gas supplier Praxair and its German peer Linde are talking about teaming up. A possible merger would create a market leader with a value of more than $60 billion. Details of the talks, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are not clear just yet. Reuters correspondent Mike Stone says the merger would create the largest industrial gas company in the world. (SOUNDBITE) MIKE STONE, MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The margins of profit for industrial gas companies are very large, sometimes as large as forty percent. It's a very specialized market. So, coming together is a part of these firms looking to gain share, not only because they are very profitable, but also because some of their businesses, for example those affected by oil and gas downturn, as well as, you know, slowing in construction, the welding equipment that they supply gases for, these things are facing challenges so coming together is a defensive movement of sorts." Both stocks jumped on the news. A possible deal would give joined companies close to a fifty percent market share. Stone says U.S. anti-trust regulators will definitely want to take a second look at it.