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Airgas to Buy Large Part of Linde’s Packaged Gas Business

Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, &nbsp ; has agreed to buy a significant part of the U.S. packaged gas business of Linde AG for $310 million in cash.
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The operations to be acquired include branches, warehouses, packaged gas fill plants, and other operations involved in distributing packaged industrial and specialty gases and related equipment. The business includes 130 locations in 18 states, with more than 1,400 employees, which generated $346 million in revenues and $36 million in EBITDA in the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.&nbsp ; About 50% of the revenues were from gas sales and cylinder rent, with the remainder from sales of welding equipment and supplies.
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The proposed acquisition would be positive for customers, associates, and shareholders," said Airgas Chairman ...

Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, &nbsp ; has agreed to buy a significant part of the U.S. packaged gas business of Linde AG for $310 million in cash.
&nbsp ;
The operations to be acquired include branches, warehouses, packaged gas fill plants, and other operations involved in distributing packaged industrial and specialty gases and related equipment. The business includes 130 locations in 18 states, with more than 1,400 employees, which generated $346 million in revenues and $36 million in EBITDA in the year ended Dec. 31, 2006.&nbsp ; About 50% of the revenues were from gas sales and cylinder rent, with the remainder from sales of welding equipment and supplies.
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The proposed acquisition would be positive for customers, associates, and shareholders,” said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland.&nbsp ; “The packaged gas locations would fill in our network in the Pittsburgh to Chicago corridor and in other important geographies in the eastern U.S., helping us serve customers more effectively.”
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The transaction would exclude Linde’s LifeGas medical gas business, its Spectra Gas rare and specialty gas business, and its Caribbean and Canadian gases business. Also, Linde will retain certain acetylene production and packaged gas fill plants supporting the distributor customer business it will keep.
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Airgas bought Linde’s divested U.S. bulk gas operations in early March 2007.
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Upon closing, Airgas intends to sell 17 of the acquired packaged gas facilities in the Carolinas, southern Virginia, and eastern Georgia to National Welders Supply Company, Inc. These operations generated $50 million in revenues in 2006.

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