Gas Firms Linde, Praxair |Abandon Merger Talks

     BERLIN (AP) — Industrial gas makers Linde AG and Praxair Inc. have abandoned their talks about a possible merger.
     The two companies had announced preliminary talks in mid-August. On Monday, Munich-based Linde said that “while the strategic rationale of a merger has been principally confirmed, discussions about details, specifically about governance aspects, did not result in a mutual understanding.”
     Praxair, based in Danbury, Connecticut, issued a brief statement in which it “confirmed that its preliminary discussions with Linde AG regarding a potential merger have terminated.”
     The companies sell gases used in a wide range of applications including manufacturing, food processing and the oil and gas industry.
     Linde shares dropped sharply on the news, falling almost 8 percent in Frankfurt trading. Praxair shares rose 53 cents to $117.94 in morning trading in New York.

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