Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced it has completed the acquisition of ABCO Gases, Welding and Industrial Supply Company, Inc. (“ABCO”). The Waterford, CT-based business serves medical and industrial customers with high-purity gases, liquid gases, specialty gas mixes, protocol gases, as well as industrial welding and cutting equipment, and automated and robotic welding solutions. With locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, and more than 100 employees, ABCO generated annual revenues of about $35 million in 2010.

ABCO locations and employees are now part of Airgas East operations. There are 12 ABCO New England locations that include a headquarters, retail stores, a fill plant and an equipment service center.

“ABCO has been a family owned business since 1921 and is a well-respected name throughout New England,” said Tony Simonetta, president of Airgas East. “They support the same industries as Airgas, including shipyards, steel fabricators, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and defense contractors. This acquisition is a natural and complimentary fit for both Airgas and ABCO, and is a win-win for the customers and employees of both companies.”

“ABCO and its employees have worked hard for the past 90 years to steadily grow this business and earn the respect of customers,” said Mike Ross, former ABCO president, who has joined the Airgas East management team. “Founded and owned by the McCourt family since 1921, ABCO employs more than 100 people. Essentially we were a large ‘family’, working as a team to provide the needed solutions for our customers. I’m very proud of everyone at ABCO and what we’ve accomplished. Our values of focusing on and serving the customer and our culture match those of Airgas. We are looking forward to continuing and expanded success as we join forces with the nation’s industry leader in packaged gases.”

ABCO specialists have an average of 32 years of industry experience. In addition to providing industrial, medical, and pharmaceutical gas products, ABCO offered welding and cutting equipment and supplies, welding equipment repair and service, and a complete line of safety products and accessories. ABCO also offered an extensive automation and robotics program for welding and cutting applications.

“I am quite certain my late father and brother would be pleased, as I am, knowing that the ABCO legacy will continue with Airgas,” David McCourt, former ABCO owner added. “ABCO and Airgas are quite similar in that both take the time to understand customers’ needs and are passionate in providing simple to complex solutions.”

About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 14,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that are forward looking. Forward-looking statements include the statements identified as forward-looking in the Company’s most recent press release announcing its quarterly earnings, as well as any statement that is not based on historical fact, including statements containing the words “believes,” “may,” “plans,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “estimates,” “continues,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “expects” and similar expressions. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors and should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the results expressed therein will be achieved. Airgas assumes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement include the factors identified in the Company’s most recent press release announcing its quarterly earnings, as well as other factors described in the Company's reports, including its March 31, 2010 Form 10-K, subsequent forms 10-Q, and other forms filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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