April 6, 2017 / 1:41 PM / 5 months ago

Linde board equally split on Praxair merger -source

FILE PHOTO: Linde Group logo is seen at company's plant in Munich-Pullach, Germany, August 16, 2016.Michaela Rehle/File Photo

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - The labor and capital representatives on Linde's (LING.DE) supervisory board stuck to their opposing positions over a planned merger with Praxair (PX.N) at a meeting on Thursday, a supervisory board source told Reuters after the meeting.

"No concessions were made," the source said.

The German and U.S. industrial gases groups have agreed to pursue a $65 billion all-share merger of equals and are hammering out terms of a business combination agreement.

Linde labor representatives agreed to the deal in principle in December in exchange for German job guarantees but have come to oppose it because it would dilute their influence by putting the headquarters of the new holding company outside Germany.

The boards of both companies will have to approve the eventual business combination agreement, making it likely that Linde's supervisory board will vote on the issue on May 3, ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting on May 10.

"As it looks today, everything is pointing toward a showdown on May 3," the source said.

As is the norm at German listed companies, Labour and capital are equally represented on Linde's supervisory board. In the event of a stalemate, Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle would have a casting vote, and has said he is prepared to use it.

Linde shares pared gains on the news and were trading 0.3 percent higher by 1346 GMT, outperforming a 0.2 percent-weaker German blue-chip index .GDAXI.

Writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Ludwig Burger, Kathrin Jones and David Evans

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