CCI initiates public scrutiny of Linde-Praxair deal, invites comments

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NEW DELHI: Fair trade regulator CCI has launched a public scrutiny of the mega deal between industrial gas firms Linde and Praxair, saying that it is of the prima facie view that the proposed merger is likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition.

The deal, announced in June 2017, is worth over USD 70 billion, according to reports.

Inviting “comments/objections/suggestions in writing”, from persons adversely affected or likely to be affected by the proposed merger, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given 15 days to submit the views.

“The Commission is not likely to consider unsubstantiated objections,” the CCI said in a release.

According to a notice submitted to CCI jointly by Linde Aktiengesellschaft and Praxair, Inc, the transaction relates to a proposed combination of the two multinational industrial gases companies under a newly incorporated holding company, Linde Plc.

After completion of the proposed transaction, Linde plc will be owned by the two companies’ current shareholders, as per the notice.

In its release, dated May 26, the CCI said it had received the notice from Linde and Praxair on January 11, 2018.

The CCI places a deal for public consultation if it is of the “prima facie opinion that the combination has, or likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition”.

CCI had launched similar public scrutiny in the case of merger deals such as Monsanto-Bayer, Ranbaxy-Sun Pharma and Holcim-Lafarge.

Last month, Linde had said its proposed merger with Praxair was awaiting regulatory clearances in several other countries.

Munich (Germany) headquarted Linde is primarily active in industrial gases and medical gases, specialty gases, helium and the related engineering and services sectors.

Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, Praxair is an international industrial gases company.

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