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December 20, 2016

Danbury's Praxair agrees to merge with German company

Wikimedia Commons 2012 A Praxair plant in Canada

Danbury's Praxair Inc., Connecticut’s sixth largest publicly traded company based on market capitalization, intends to combine in a "merger of equals" with Munich, Germany's Linde AG, the companies announced Tuesday.

If the deal is completed, the firms would form a new holding company with revenues of approximately $30 billion and a current market value in excess of $65 billion. The companies have signed a non-binding term sheet and expect to execute a definitive agreement "as soon as practicable," they said.

As part of the agreement under the merger, Praxair’s current Chairman and CEO Steve Angel will lead the combined company as CEO and will be based in Connecticut, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy noted in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

“We are proud to have a globally recognized corporation like Praxair consider Connecticut home and we applaud the decision of these two companies to maintain a significant presence here," Malloy said. "Praxair is an innovation-driven, industry leader that knows first-hand the extraordinary value of being in Connecticut with our highly skilled, productive workforce that is second to none and provides companies with a competitive edge."

The transaction would unite Linde’s leadership in technology with Praxair’s efficient operating model, the parties say.

"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,” said Aldo Belloni, CEO of Linde.

Angel called the combination "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.“

In late 2014, Praxair and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that the firm would build new headquarters in Danbury with the assistance of a forgivable state loan, tax credits and sales and use exemptions worth as much as $32.5 million.

Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton and his staff toured the new facility Monday, his Chief of Staff, Dean Esposito said. The mayor was not immediately available for comment.

A Praxair spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

In 2014, Praxair had more than 27,000 employees worldwide.

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