MUNICH, Germany, March 9 The chief executive of
German industrial gases group Linde is working hard to
win over employees sceptical about the benefits of a planned $65
billion merger with U.S. rival Praxair, he said on
"We will continue discussions with them about their
concerns," Aldo Belloni told a news conference at Linde's
headquarters in Munich. "We have had to take a very defensive
position but we will become more proactive and communicative."
German trade unionists have signalled they are concerned
that the merged firm will more closely resemble Praxair, with
its leaner structures and higher profitability, than it will
Linde, where labour influence is high.
Concerted opposition from labour representatives could slow
down or even prevent progress on working out a detailed business
combination plan, which Linde and Praxair aim to complete in
late April or early May.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)