Praxair is interested in acquiring businesses from Linde after it merges with the BOC Group.

Eduardo Gil, head of Praxair's German operations, told Handelsblatt newspaper should Linde have to sell parts of the company to complete the acquisition of BOC, he would certainly have a look.

"If Linde has to sell some businesses in the course of its takeover of BOC, then we will certainly make an effort to acquire them," Gil told the newspaper, confirming, however, that no firm talks are on.

The European Commission has informed Linde it must sell its gas operations in the UK as well as BOC's gas business in Poland in order to receive regulatory approval for the merger.

The Linde UK, and BOC Polish operations have a combined turnover of €160m, and could also attract industry giants such as the listed US gas firm Air Products as well as financial investors, the report added.