Praxair Distribution, Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), announced it has acquired Harlingen, Texas-based Acetylene Oxygen Company (AOC). Financial terms were not disclosed. AOC, a distributor of Praxair industrial gases, is one of the top ten independent gas and welding products distributors in the U.S. AOC operates from twenty four locations throughout central and southern Texas, including 4 cylinder filling plants. The company was formed in 1932 and is majority-owned and controlled by the founding Wolf family. The acquisition of AOC allows Praxair to further expand its packaged gases presence in Texas, after having recently acquired two independent distributors in the second half of 2011 that serve the Houston area, National Alloy and Texas Welders Supply Company. AOC’s sales, technical support and related services are largely directed to the energy sector and complement Praxair’s broader pipeline and bulk liquid gas offering to global refinery and petrochemical customers along the Gulf Coast. “The acquisition of AOC expands Praxair’s capabilities to supply industrial and specialty gases, equipment and services to our customers,” said John Panikar, president, Praxair Distribution. “Additionally, AOC’s presence along the U.S.-Mexico border enables Praxair to better serve customers in this region. The Wolf family has built a premier distributorship with 80 years of strong commitment to superior customer service. They have done an exceptional job capitalizing on tremendous growth opportunities, serving drillers and other energy-related service companies along the Eagle Ford shale formation in central Texas.” “Our philosophy of service has allowed us to become a leading packaged gas distributor. Combining our business with Praxair will continue to benefit our customers and employees.” said Albert (Bert) Wolf, president of AOC and a majority shareholder. Praxair, Inc. is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2011 sales of $11 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others.