SAO PAULO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - IBG-Indústria Brasileira de Gases Ltda may bid for assets of proposed merger partners Praxair Inc and Linde AG should Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade force them to divest businesses to approve their deal, Valor Econômico newspaper said on Wednesday.
In December, industrial gas companies Linde and Praxair announced plans to merge, creating a $65 billion global entity with extensive business in Brazil.
IBG founder Newton de Oliveira told Valor the combined entity would have too much market power. Praxair’s White Martins Ltda controls 59 percent of Brazil’s industrial gas market, while Linde’s unit has 12 percent, Valor quoted Oliveira as saying.
If Cade orders Praxair and Linde to dispose of some assets, IBG would be interested in acquiring those in Brazil’s north and northeastern regions.
IBG, Praxair and Linde were not immediately available to comment on the Valor report.
In 2010, Cade found Praxair, Linde and other competitors guilty of price-fixing and market collusion, and imposed a record fine of 2.5 billion reais ($783 million) on them.
$1 = 3.1950 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Lisa Von Ahn