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
Huhtamaki and Stora Enso have joined forces to create a new paper cup recycling initiative, The Cup Collective. The programme aims to recycle and capture the value of used paper cups on an industrial scale. The programme will initially be implemented across Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The Board of Directors of Methanex Corporation announced that John Floren will retire as President and CEO and from the Board as of December 31, 2022. The Board has appointed Rich Sumner as President & Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2023.
Evonik’s new chief innovation officer, Ralph Marquardt, aims to strengthen the company’s innovative strength even further in the future. Marquardt, who has a doctorate in chemistry and joined Evonik in 2006, has acquired the necessary experience, for example, through leadership roles in various business areas. Sustainability is his central focus.