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Praxair in deal talks with Germany's Linde AG: Source

A truck operated by Germany's Linde Group.
Rod Nickel | Canada-Helium | Reuters

Industrial gas supplier Praxair is in early talks to merge with Germany's Linde, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Details of the talks were not immediately clear and any potential deal could still fall apart, according to the person.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the talks and said there is no guarantee that antitrust regulators would approve if there is any agreement.

This could be the second consolidation in the gas supplier industry after France's Air Liquide agreed to buy U.S. peer Airgas in a $13.4 billion deal last year.

Analysts at that time pointed out that the deal would help Air Liquide overtake rivals including Linde AG, Air Products and Praxair to top spot in North America and speed diversification away from slow-growth Europe.

Praxair is an industrial gas supplier in North and South America, Asia and Europe, while Linde Group's core business division offers planning, project development and construction of turnkey industrial plants used in fields, such as petrochemical and chemical industries.

The companies could not be immediately reached for comment after regular business hours.

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