Airgas announced it has acquired Byrne Specialty Gases (BSG) a Seattle, Washington-based distributor of speciality gases, related equipment, and cryogenic storage systems for the life sciences sectors in the Pacific Northwest.

The acquired operations, including two facilities in Seattle and Vancouver, employ 45 associates and generated more than $10m in annual sales last year. Airgas will run the business as a dedicated unit within Airgas Nor Pac focused on speciality gases and life science sectors in the Northwest.

\\$quot;We are very excited about welcoming the Byrne Specialty Gases associates to our company,\\$quot; said Dan Tatro, president of Airgas Nor Pac. \\$quot;Founded by Daniel V. Byrne in 1984, it has become a nationally recognized leader in the life sciences and analytical laboratory fields. This acquisition will significantly enhance our speciality gas business in the region as well as nationally.\\$quot;

Airgas announced that Byrne has taken a new position as the marketing manager - life sciences, reporting to Tom Thoman, vice president of gases for Airgas. In this new role, he will help apply technical expertise in serving the life sciences sector in the Northwest to other Airgas regions.

\\$quot;All of us at Byrne Specialty Gases look forward to a bright future with Airgas as we continue to provide industry leading service to our customers, backed by the resources of the nation\\$quot;s largest speciality gas provider,\\$quot; said Byrne.

Byrne started BSG in 1984 after working with Stirling Engine/Cryocooler Systems Division of Mechanical Technology, Airco Industrial Gases (now known as BOC Gases), and Boeing. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a master of science in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

Brent Fernyhough, formerly president of BSG, will continue to run the acquired operations as vice president of speciality gases and life sciences, reporting to Tatro. He had been president of BSG for the past five years and with the firm for 14 years.