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Actionable news in PX: PRAXAIR Inc,

Praxair Said to Hold Talks to Combine With Germany’s Linde

  • Deal would create world’s largest industrial gas supplier
  • Antitrust obstacles seen, especially in Brazil, Baader says

Praxair Inc. of the U.S. and Germany’s Linde AG are in talks to combine in an all-stock transaction that would create the world’s largest supplier of industrial gases, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal, which could be valued at more than $30 billion, may be reached as early as the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations are private. Discussions could still fall apart. Praxair, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, has a market value of $33.7 billion. Linde, a gases and engineering company, was valued at 25.9 billion euros ($29 billion) based on Monday’s closing price.

A potential tie-up between Praxair and Linde would further fuel a wave of consolidation in the industry and attract scrutiny from antitrust regulators. France’s Air Liquide SA, which counts refineries, soda bottlers and welders among its customers, completed its biggest purchase in May when it bought Airgas Inc. of the U.S. for $13 billion. That left only four major suppliers, including Praxair, Linde and Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

“The antitrust obstacles are as clear as the economic logic is clear,” said Jason Miner, an analyst at...