April 11, 2017 / 9:37 AM / 4 months ago

Linde rejects request to vote on Praxair merger at AGM

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

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Linde (LING.DE) has for a second time rejected a request for a shareholder vote at its annual general meeting next month on its planned $65 billion merger with U.S. industrial gases rival Praxair (PX.N).

Linde said shareholders would in any case have to decide individually whether to accept a public offer from the new combined holding company, so a vote at the AGM on May 10 would not be appropriate.

"Even if a qualified majority of Linde shareholders would accept the exchange offer, not a single Linde shareholder will be forced to exchange his shares," it said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Linde was responding to a renewed request from German private-investor association DSW, which came on behalf of shareholders Aberdeen Asset Management and BayernInvest.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan and Jens Hack; Editing by Edward Taylor

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