Distribution M&A began 2016 much the same way it ended 2015 – with activity in the gases & welding equipment sector, including more buzz surrounding Air Liquide's $10.3 billion merger with Airgas announced last year.
The companies said in January that a special meeting of Airgas’ shareholders will take place Feb. 23, when the company will approve the acquisition. The deal, which is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter, precluded Airgas from holding an earnings call last week when it announced fiscal third quarter sales.
In a deal related to the Air Liquide-Airgas merger, Memphis, TN-based gases and welding supplies distributor nexAir has acquired Air Liquide’s liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice facilities in Millington, TN.
NexAir will operate this business through nexAir Carbonic, a wholly owned subsidiary of nexAir, and the acquisition increases nexAir’s liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice offerings to the Mid-South.
In other gases & welding equipment M&A news, Praxair Distribution Inc., a subsidiary of industrial gases company Praxair Inc., Danbury, CT, has merged its two joint venture companies operating in the southeastern U.S. – Praxair Distribution Southeast LLC and nexAir LLC.
Praxair Distribution Southeast LLC, operating in Florida and southeast Georgia, will merge into nexAir LLC, with locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
And Tech Air, a Danbury, CT-based distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related welding supplies, acquired Ravena Welding Supply, Ravena, NY, and Hereford Welding Supply, Hereford, TX.
The acquisition of Ravena expands Tech Air's presence in New York, while Hereford is the fourth acquisition that Tech Air has completed in Texas during the last 18 months, creating a substantial presence for the company in that region.
Here are other key deals that occurred in January 20216: