The chairman of German industrial gases group Linde is prepared to use his casting vote to push through a $65 billion merger with U.S. rival Praxair in the face of worker opposition, he told the Financial Times.
Linde’s labor representatives told Reuters last week they planned to vote against the deal, which they fear will entail significant job losses in Europe to achieve $1 billion in synergies, and a loss of influence over strategy.
Labor controls half the seats on the supervisory board, which will have to approve the deal once the terms are finalised in the next month or so – but Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle can cast a double vote in the case of a deadlock.
“Yes, I’m willing to do that,” he told the FT in a comment published on Monday.
Linde shares were up 1.4 percent by 0820 GMT on Monday, the top-gainer in the German blue chip index .GDAXI, which was 0.2 percent higher.
Reitzle is the driving force behind the planned all-share merger of equals, which would reunite a global Linde group split by the First World War a century ago. It is the second attempt by the two companies to agree a deal.
Chief Executive Aldo Belloni told the FT his role was to provide better communication to workers about the deal, not to grant further concessions.
Belloni was brought out of retirement by Reitzle to head Linde after the breakdown of the first attempt to merge with Praxair led to the departure of the then-CEO and finance chief.
Linde’s supervisory board is set to meet on Thursday. It will not yet vote on the merger as the terms are still being negotiated.
By Georgina Prodhan
The US State of New York is introducing two new bills to combat over-packaging, poor recycling rates and litter issues, including an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program requiring companies such as McDonald’s and Amazon to pay for the cost of packaging disposal and recycling.
The new organization’s mission is to redesign the critical steps of the plastics sorting and recycling system for post-consumer lightweight packaging (LWP) to speed up circularity, born from a need to meet the rising market demand for high-quality recyclates for use in high-end plastic applications.
Starbucks and Hubbub have launched a £1 million (US$1.22 million) “Bring It Back Fund” to increase the uptake of reusable packaging in the F&B industry. The funding will go toward innovative ideas that make it easier for customers to use alternatives to single-use packaging by supporting pilot projects that help shift consumption habits.