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Praxair Inc. of the U.S. agreed to buy Linde AG for about 33.9 billion euros ($35.1 billion) to create the world's largest supplier of industrial gases, three months after a previous attempt failed on concern over job losses in Germany.Shares of Danbury, Connecticut-based Praxair will be converted one-for-one into stock in a new company that will begin an offer to buy Munich-based Linde, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. Praxair won over Linde's board by agreeing to keep operations in Munich and preserve jobs. The companies described the deal as a merger of equals, and took steps to avoid the appearance of a Praxair acquisition of Linde.Linde shareholders would receive 1.540 shares in the new holding company for each share, and Linde and Praxair stockholders will each own about 50 percent of the new holding company.The merger comes amid industry consolidation after France's Air Liquide SA completed its $13 billion acquisition of Airgas Inc. in May to create what is now the biggest industrial-gas supplier.
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