Praxair Acquires Distributors In TX & OK, Italy

The company acquired two independent distributors of packaged gas and welding supplies in TX and OK. Praxair also expanded in Italy with the acquistion of Messer Italia's business, and sold off their investment in France.

Danbury, CT — Praxair, Inc. has acquired two independent distributors of packaged gas and welding supplies – United Welding Supplies, LLC (United) in Texas and Best Welders Supply, Inc. (Best) in Oklahoma, with combined 2013 annual sales of about $30 million. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

United is one of the largest independent gas and welding products distributors in the greater Houston area. United has 49 employees and operates three locations, including its headquarters and primary cylinder filling plant in Houston and retail stores in LaPorte and Freeport, Texas.

“Praxair is the best operational and strategic fit for United,” said Carolyn Johnson, owner and president. “Praxair will help our business enhance its product offerings, serve customers and continue to grow.”

Best Welders Supply has 25 employees and has served the Tulsa area for 50 years. Its headquarters facility in Tulsa includes a cylinder fill plant, retail store and administrative offices.

“We’re excited about the future,” said Best owner and President Mark Davidson. “As part of Praxair, we will have access to the resources and support of one of the strongest and best industrial gases companies in the world, and we’ll be able to serve customers and grow the business in ways we couldn’t manage on our own.”

“We have been steadily growing our packaged and small bulk business in Houston and the Gulf Coast region. In addition, the growing Tulsa region has a strong economy supported by a healthy oil and gas industry and aerospace equipment manufacturing.  The acquisition of these well-established distributors enables Praxair to further strengthen its presence in these important geographies,” said Praxair Distribution, Inc. President Scott Kaltrider. “We are excited to have them join the Praxair team and look forward to serving our new customers.”

Praxair Improves Operational Efficiencies with Acquisition of Messer Group Industrial Gases Business in Italy and Divestiture in France

Danbury, CT – Praxair, Inc. has strengthened its position in Italy through the acquisition of Messer Italia S.p.A’s liquid carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and argon and packaged gases businesses. The businesses will be fully integrated into the operations of Praxair’s Italian joint venture, Rivoira S.p.A. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We continue to execute on our business strategy of building out production and distribution density in key geographies,” said Todd Skare, president, Praxair Europe. “We will seamlessly integrate these assets into current operations and drive productivity gains. Our expanded operations will also enable us to supply industrial gases to our customers across the country even more efficiently.”

In addition, Praxair sold its industrial gases operations in France to Messer France SAS. Praxair’s French operations included three air separation units and two packaged gas filling stations. Prior to this agreement, Praxair had a small industrial gases presence in France. This transaction enables the company to deliver on its stated strategy of investing in its core geographies.

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