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Linde says Praxair merger hits antitrust hurdle, talks continue

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By Reuters
Linde says Praxair merger hits antitrust hurdle, talks continue
FILE PHOTO: Linde Group logo is seen at a company building in Munich-Pullach, Germany August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo   -   Copyright  Michaela Rehle(Reuters)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Linde <LIN1.DE> said divestments needed to secure regulatory approval for its planned tie-up with Praxair <PX.N> have reached a size that would allow either party to abandon the deal, but added it was in constructive talks with its prospective merger partner.

“Linde and Praxair remain in constructive dialogue with each other and the regulators on how to satisfy their requirements,” it said on Wednesday.

The companies previously agreed that if regulators demanded the disposal of businesses with more than 3.7 billion euros(3.32 billion pounds)in sales or 1.1 billion euros in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), either party could withdraw without penalty.

Linde said the revenue threshold for divestiture commitments would be exceeded, without providing details.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asked for more assets to be sold than previously anticipated and also said it wanted prospective buyers of these assets to meet certain other requirements.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Douglas Busvine)