Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire NuCO 2 INC. from Aurora Capital Group, a Los Angeles, California based private equity firm, for $1.1 billion in cash. The transaction is subject to customary conditions to closing, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2013. NuCO 2 is the leading national provider of beverage carbonation solutions in the United States to the restaurant and hospitality industries with 162,000 customer locations and 900 employees. The business is expected to generate full year sales in 2013 of about $250 million and EBITDA of about $115 million. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to slightly accretive to Praxair’s 2013 earnings per share. The NuCO 2 micro-bulk beverage carbonation solution is the service model of choice for quick service restaurants and convenience stores offering fountain beverages. The micro-bulk solution is more cost effective than conventional high pressure cylinders, more reliable, and less labor intensive for the customer. Additionally, NuCO 2 is expanding its product offering for establishments with draught and craft beers to include nitrogen generators and blending control systems which improve draught beer consistency and reduce waste. “NuCO 2 offers a compelling value proposition for beverage carbonation,” said Eduardo Menezes, executive vice president of Praxair. “We plan to continue to grow the business in the United States, enhance distribution efficiency utilizing Praxair’s competencies in logistics, and extend NuCO 2’s offerings to customers in other regions of the world,” added Menezes. A teleconference on the acquisition will be held today, Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The number is 617-614-3523 -- Passcode: 72721447. The call is also available as a web cast at www.praxair.com/investors. Materials to be used in the teleconference are also available. Web and telephone replay will be available beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2013. The telephone replay dial-in number is 617-801-6888 -- Passcode: 67371231. About Praxair Praxair, Inc. is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2012 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. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com. About Aurora Capital Group Aurora Capital Group is a Los Angeles-based private investment firm managing over $2 billion of capital across several funds. Aurora's traditional private equity vehicle focuses principally on control investments in middle market businesses with leading market positions, strong cash flow profiles, and actionable opportunities for growth in partnership with operating management. Aurora's Resurgence fund invests in debt and equity securities of middle market companies and targets complex opportunities that are created by operational or financial challenges.