6309 Monarch Park Place, Suite 203
Niwot, CO 80503, USA
Phone (303) 443-5060
Toll free (888) 742-5060
The operations acquired have annual sales of more than $20 million in packaged gases and welding hardgoods and include 10 locations in Florida and Georgia, doing business as Action Welding Supply and Equipment Sales Company, and 4 locations in California doing business as Northwestern Equipment & Supply Company (NESCO). The acquisition closed March 31, 2003.
Airgas will integrate the acquired locations into 3 of its 12 regional companies: Airgas South, Airgas West and Airgas Northern California & Nevada. The sites will all do business under the Airgas brand. Airgas is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases, welding supplies and related safety products. As part of the acquisition, Airgas will offer employment to most of the 90 employees of Action Welding and NESCO affected by the acquisition.
"We look forward to welcoming the UIG associates in these locations to Airgas and to offering our new customers a broader product range to meet their gases, welding and safety product needs," said Glenn Fischer, president of Airgas, Inc.
Airgas Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland commented: "During most of fiscal 2003, we have concentrated on the successful integration of the Air Products U.S. packaged gas business. Yet, this will be our fourth acquisition of an industrial gas distributor since September 1, 2002, with combined annual sales of almost $35 million. We see the pace of acquisitions picking up in fiscal 2004 as the consolidation of the packaged gas industry continues. With more than half the packaged gas industry still made up of independents, we should have plenty of opportunities to add to our national footprint." The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings and cash flow in the first year.
"This planned transaction will allow UIG to focus on our core market in the Southwest, while assuring that our customers and employees in Florida, Georgia and California have a company like Airgas with the scale, scope and resources to serve their needs," said Jeff Ellis, president of UIG.