Airgas to Acquire Aeriform

Airgas, Inc. today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and operations of Houston, TX-based Aeriform Corporation, an independent distributor with 29 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The companies expect to close the transaction by September 1, subject to due diligence, customary closing conditions, and regulatory reviews.

Airgas, Inc. today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and operations of Houston, TX-based Aeriform Corporation, an independentdistributor with 29 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas.The companies expect to close the transaction by September 1, subject to duediligence, customary closing conditions, and regulatory reviews.

The operations to be acquired have about 240 employees and annual sales ofapproximately $65 million. About 58% of its revenue comes from gas & rent,with the balance from traditional welding hardgoods.

"This will be a great fit with our core business operations along the GulfCoast and the Mid South," said Airgas Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland."The added resources will improve our coverage and help us efficientlydeliver better service to customers in this key energy market."

Airgas will integrate most of the operations into three of its regionalcompanies: Airgas Southwest will integrate 14 sites in Texas, includinglocations near Houston, Victoria, El Paso, and Lubbock. Airgas Gulf Stateswill integrate seven sites in southern Louisiana and east Texas. Airgas MidSouth will integrate two sites in Kansas, and four sites in Oklahoma, andtwo locations in Shreveport, Louisiana.

As part of the acquisition, Airgas will offer employment to most of the 240employees of Aeriform affected by the acquisition.

?We are excited about joining Airgas through this transaction, which willoffer great opportunities for our customers and our employees,? said MichaelStoddard, president and CEO of Aeriform. He added, ?Airgas is not onlyacquiring an outstanding group of customers, but an exceptionally talentedteam of associates, who have worked very hard over the years to build thecompany it is today.?

?We look forward to welcoming Aeriform associates, and to offering our newcustomers a broader product range to meet their gases, welding and safetyproduct needs,? said Mike Molinini, executive vice president and chiefoperating officer for Airgas.