July 2, 2012 / 7:41 AM / 5 years ago

Linde plans 1.5 bln eur cap hike for Lincare buy

FRANKFURT, July 2 (Reuters) - German industrial gas producer Linde AG plans to increase its capital by up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to fund its planned takeover of Lincare Holdings Inc to become world's largest supplier of medical gases.

Linde said late on Sunday it agreed to pay $4.6 billion for the Florida-based provider of oxygen and respiratory therapy services to patients in the home, funded with available cash and a $4.5 billion acquisition loan.

"The acquisition loan will be refinanced by equity issuances of up to 1.5 billion euros and debt capital market transactions," Linde said on Monday.

Linde shares extended losses and were down 4.8 percent at 116.75 euros at 0731 GMT.

Linde added it was committed to maintaining its current credit ratings, which are "A" from Standard and Poor's and "A3" from Moody's.

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