The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has extended a 29th January deadline for completion of the sales of certain Linde plc US-based assets until 1st March 2019 due to the US government shutdown.

Linde must divest certain assets as part of its $90bn merger with Praxair, which was announced in October to create a new global leader in the industrial gas industry.

Linde said in a statement, “Linde plc continues to work diligently to conclude the FTC review process and complete the US divestiture transactions by or before 1 March 2019.”

The political stand-off in the US was in its fifth week at the time of the FTC’s announcement of an extended deadline.

The FTC said it will require Linde and Praxair to divest assets in nine industrial gas product markets in the US as part of the settlement that resolves charges that the merger would be anti-competitive.