The Linde Group has signed a definitive agreement to contribute INO Therapeutics LLC, a specialist in gaseous drugs including inhaled nitric oxide for treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure in newborns, to a newly formed investment company led by US private equity company New Mountain Capital.

The New York-based private equity firm plans to merge INO Therapeutics with venture capital-backed biotechnology company Ikaria.

The combined company, which will be called Ikaria Holdings, will be headquartered in Clinton, New Jersey.

Under the terms of the agreement, Linde will receive approximately €380m in cash and a 17 percent stake in Ikaria Holdings. Linde will retain an equity position in the new entity. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities.