BERLIN,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 16th Augst,2016) : German industrial gas supplier Linde and its US competitor Praxair "are discussing a merger of equals", a source close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday, confirming a Wall Street Journal report. A potential tie-up between the two companies would create a giant that would overtake French group Air Liquide as the world's number one supplier of industrial gases. Air Liquide took the top spot from Linde by sealing a deal at the end of May for the acquisition of US firm Airgas, which should take its annual revenues to more than 20 billion Euros ($22.
4 billion). But Linde and Praxair combined would have estimated annual revenues of more than $30 billion. The German firm employs 64,000 people worldwide, while its US competitor has 26,000 staff. Linde, whose shares jumped seven percent in Frankfurt on reports of a possible merger, declined to comment on the talks. A Praxair representative was not immediately available for comment. Shares in Praxair also rose significantly in online trading after Wall Street closed Monday.