By Max Bernhard
Linde AG (>> Linde Group (The)) said Friday that 50.85% of its outstanding shares have been tendered by shareholders as part of an exchange offer tied to its planned merger with Praxair Inc.(>> Praxair, Inc.).
For the deal to go through shareholders must accept a tender offer for at least 75% of Linde's outstanding shares by Oct. 24 in exchange for shares in Linde PLC, a holding company.
Now that the exchange has passed 50%, stock market operator Deutsche Boerse AG (>> Deutsche Boerse) can replace Linde AG shares on the stock market with the Linde PLC shares. That in turn allows index funds to tender any Linde AG shares they hold, raising the likelihood of the merger's success.
The merged company would have a combined market value of $66.6 billion, making it the world's largest industrial gas company. Praxair shareholders have already approved the deal at a general meeting last month.
Write to Max Bernhard at [email protected]; @mxbernhard