U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 22 mins

Linde says could talk to Praxair on threshold for sell-offs

FILE PHOTO: Linde Chief Executive Officer Aldo Belloni attends a news conference in Munich, Germany June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

MUNICH (Reuters) - Linde (LIN1.DE) said it has so far not reached the upper size limit for the divestments that are needed to secure antitrust approval for the planned tie-up with industrial-gases rival Praxair (PX.N) but that the matter could be negotiable with the prospective merger partner.

The companies previously agreed that if regulators demanded the disposal of businesses with more than $3.7 billion (2.7 billion pounds) in sales or $1.1 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), either party could withdraw without penalty.

"Should this be the case anyway, Linde and Praxair will coordinate any further steps to be taken," Linde Chief Executive Aldo Belloni said at the German group's shareholder meeting.

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing Ludwig Burger; Editing by Arno Schuetze)