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Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA, announced an agreement for Airgas to purchase the majority of Air Products' U.S. packaged gas business, excluding its electronic gases and magnetic resonance imaging-related helium operations. Separately, Air Products would sell its packaged gas operations in the Carolinas and southern Virginia to National Welders Supply Company.
The value of the transactions to Air Products would be $270 million, including $236 million in cash from Airgas, the proceeds from the transaction with National Welders, and the accounts receivable to be retained by Air Products. The assets to be acquired generated about $223 million in revenues in fiscal year 2001, and employ approximately 1,100 people. Approximately 76 percent of the revenues would be from gas sales and cylinder rent, with the remainder from welding hardgoods and supplies. The added revenue would increase the overall Airgas business mix to 52 percent gas and rent.Full story.
OneSource Distributors, San Diego, CA, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the assets of Argo Electric Supply Company and Pacific Parts & Controls, Inc., Chino, CA. Argo Electric and Pacific Parts & Controls, with revenues of $14 million for fiscal 2001, are owned and operated by Frank Renek; both will become part of OneSource Distributors at the end of February. Full story.
Precision Industries, Omaha, NE, recently acquired certain assets of Bobker Bearing, Carlstadt, NJ, out of Chapter 11 reorganization. Bobker, founded in 1931, has been a distributor of bearings, power transmission and fluid power components with ten locations throughout the Eastern U.S. from Virginia to Massachusetts, with more than 100 employees. Under this agreement, the divisions of Bobker, Bobker Export Group, Eifler Electric and Biglow Industrial are included in the acquisition. Full story.
MRO Software, Inc., Bedford, MA, a provider of e-Business solutions for asset-intensive companies, has responded to a refusal by Datastream Systems, Inc., Greenville, SC, to enter into discussions regarding MRO Software's Dec. 20 acquisition proposal. In a letter sent Jan. 9, MRO Software urged Datastream's management and board to open negotiations, and also left open the option of going directly to the company's shareholders concerning a takeover of the company. Full story.
SKF, G'teborg, Sweden, has acquired Magnetic Group, Liestal, Switzerland, a manufacturer of electromechanical actuators, motors, telescopic drives, control units as well as complete actuation systems. With the addition of Magnetic's product range, SKF Actuators (a business area within SKF Linear Motion & Precision Technologies) is reinforcing its position in the fast growing market for electromechanical actuators, linear drives and actuation systems. Full story.
Mixed signals: Economic activity in the manufacturing sector declined for the 17th consecutive month in December, while the overall economy grew for the second consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Full story.
Parker Hannifin Corporation, Cleveland, OH, reported orders for the