Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and operations of The Encompass Gas Group, Inc., headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. With eleven locations and more than 130 employees in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, Encompass is one of the largest privately-owned suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related hardgoods in the U.S., generating approximately $55 million in annual sales in 2012. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close on November 1, subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. “The Encompass Gas Group is among the most respected companies in the U.S. packaged gas industry, and we are very excited for their associates and customers to join the Airgas family,” said Airgas Executive Chairman Peter McCausland. “Encompass’ leadership team and associates have worked very hard over several decades to grow and service the needs of their diverse customer base. We believe this combination will enhance the quality of service and breadth of product offering available to the customers of both companies.” “Encompass has been family owned and operated since its founding in 1955 as Rockford Industrial Welding Supply. Doing what’s best for our customers and associates has always been our top priority,” said Gary Bertrand, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Encompass Gas Group. “The customer-focused, local service cultures of Encompass and Airgas are very similar. Airgas is the one major player who has consistently shown commitment to the packaged gas business. They have independent roots, and they just get better and better over time. I can’t think of a better company to entrust with our loyal customers and associates, and I look forward to watching our relationships continue to flourish as part of Airgas.”
Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains statements that are forward looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the SEC in its rules, regulations and releases. Forward-looking statements include 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. We intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. 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: receiving regulatory approval, the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, and closing of the acquisition of Encompass; the successful combination of the associates and customers of Encompass and Airgas; and other factors described in the Company's reports, including its March 31, 2013 Form 10-K, subsequent Form 10-Q, and other forms filed by the Company with the SEC. About Airgas, Inc. Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, 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 www.airgas.com.