FRANKFURT, Oct 20 (Reuters) - German industrial gases group Linde has passed an important threshold in its exchange offer for the planned $80 billion merger with U.S. peer Praxair.
Linde said on Friday that shareholders representing 50.85 percent of its capital have accepted the offer, as an Oct. 24 deadline approaches to reach 75 percent acceptance.
Passing the 50 percent threshold paves the way for passive funds, such as exchanged-traded funds replicating Germany’s blue chip DAX index, to also tender their shares.
Roughly 10-13 percent of Linde’s shares are held by such funds and one UK fund already tendered its shares on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner, editing by David Evans)