Linde to Fund Lincare Acquisition With $4.5 Billion of Loans

Linde AG, the world’s second-biggest maker of industrial gases, said it plans to fund the acquisition of Lincare Holdings Inc. with a $4.5 billion acquisition loan and existing cash.

Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley are providing the loan, which will be refinanced with a share sale of as much as 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) and by other debt, the Munich, Germany-based company said in a conference call today. It will seek to keep its credit ratings of A by Standard & Poor’s and A3 by Moody’s Investors Service.

Linde said today it agreed to buy Lincare in Clearwater, Florida for about $4.6 billion including assumed debt. Lincare provides oxygen and respiratory therapy services.

The loan facility includes a $2.5 billion one-year portion that has two six-month extension options, a $1 billion three-year term loan and a $1 billion three-year term loan that can be extended by as much as two years, Linde said on its website.

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