Linde AG, Munich, Germany, and Praxair, Inc., Danbury, Conn., announced an intention to merge under a new holding company through an all-stock transaction.

The proposed merger would bring together two leading companies in the global industrial gas industry, uniting Linde’s long-held leadership in technology with Praxair’s efficient operating model.

"The strategic combination between Linde and Praxair would leverage the complementary strengths of each across a larger global footprint, and create a more resilient portfolio with increased exposure to long-term macro growth trends," says Steve Angel, Praxair’s chairman and CEO. "We consider this to be a true strategic merger, as it brings together the capabilities, talented people and best-in-class processes of both companies, creating a unique and compelling opportunity for all of our stakeholders."

"Under the Linde brand, we want to combine our companies’ business and technology capabilities and form a global industrial gas leader. Beyond the strategic fit, the compelling, value-creating combination would achieve a robust balance sheet and cash flow and generate financial flexibility to invest in our future," says Dr. Aldo Belloni, chief executive officer of Linde.

The combined company would be governed by a single board of directors with equal representation from Linde and Praxair. Linde’s supervisory board chairman Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle would become chairman of the new company’s board. Angel would become chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.

The combined company would adopt the globally-recognized Linde name, and would be formed and domiciled in a neutral member state of the European Economic Area, with the CEO based in Danbury.