Air Liquide (Euronext Paris: AI), world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Airgas, Inc., one of the leading suppliers of industrial gases and associated products and services in the U.S. Globally, the combined businesses will generate annual sales of more than €20 billion (more than $22 billion at current exchange rates 1), employ approximately 68,000 people around the world, and serve well over three million customers and patients. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160523005856/en/ Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said: "We are very pleased to have successfully closed our acquisition of Airgas, which will contribute to our strategy of profitable growth over the long term. There is strong industrial and market logic to this acquisition, which ideally positions Air Liquide for future growth. The two businesses are highly complementary, and the transaction extends our customer base through a unique, multi-channel distribution network and a nationwide presence in the U.S. Since founding Airgas some 30 years ago, Peter McCausland has successfully grown the business into one of the premier industrial gas companies in the U.S., and I would like to thank him for his leadership, dedication and achievements. This transaction represents significant value potential for all Air Liquide stakeholders, and it is an exciting day for the Group as we welcome our Airgas colleagues and together begin a new chapter in our history." Peter McCausland, Executive Chairman of Airgas, said: "Today's history-making transaction is the culmination of more than 30 years of growth and value that we have steadfastly delivered to Airgas shareholders - it is a proud moment. The future is very bright for Airgas' more than one million customers and our talented employees as we join Air Liquide's unrivalled global footprint and strength in technology and innovation, while remaining committed to Airgas' product offering, service model, and entrepreneurial culture. Thank you to our customers, shareholders, and associates for believing in the Airgas vision, just as I have, for all of these years." Under the terms of the merger agreement, first announced and unanimously approved by each company's Board of Directors in November 2015, Airgas shareholders receive $143 in cash for each share of common stock of Airgas. In connection with the merger, the Airgas common stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Airgas will operate as a subsidiary of Air Liquide within the company's U.S. operations and, commercially, will go to market as Airgas, an Air Liquide company.