This was always a marathon, not a sprint…


So the European Commission (EC) has reportedly rebuffed the original merger proposals put forward by Praxair and Linde, issuing a confidential Statement of Objection (SO) in the latest step of this marathon of a mega merger.

We knew it wouldn’t be a sprint, but to continue the analogy, perhaps we should view this latest development as having turned this into more of a relay – the EC has handed over the baton for the two parties to take forward to the line.

That’s essentially what has happened here, as I understand it, with an SO almost inevitable in a deal of this scale. The EC has not outlawed the deal or said it cannot go ahead, rather it has put revised terms or parameters into the hands of Linde plc, under which it will be happy to sanction the transaction.

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