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Linde lowers acceptance threshold for Praxair merger to 60 percent

FRANKFURT, Oct 23 (Reuters) - German industrial gases groups Linde has lowered the acceptance threshold for its planned $80 billion merger with U.S. peer Praxair to 60 from 75 percent.

The acceptance period of the exchange offer, which was scheduled to expire on Tuesday, has been extended to Nov. 7 at midnight, the company said in a statement on Monday.

On Friday, Linde already passed an important 50 percent threshold, paving the way for passive funds, such as exchanged-traded funds replicating Germany's blue chip DAX index, to also tender their shares.

Roughly 10 to 13 percent of Linde's shares are held by such funds, people familiar with the matter have said. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan)