Airgas have announced that they have completed the purchase of Vancouver Welding Supply Incorporated (VWS), based in Vancouver, Washington and Cumberland Welding & Supply Company Incorporated in Cumberland, Maryland.

The transaction was completed on April 30th. In all, the two businesses had more than $9 million in sales in 2004.

Airgas Nor Pac, also based in Vancouver, has taken over the industrial gas and welding supply business at three stores located in Vancouver, Longview and The Dallas. The stores were also respectively known as Vancouver Welding Supply, Bi-State Welding Supply and Mid-Columbia Welders Supply.

Not included in the transaction is the Carbonic Systems Inc. division of VWS, which will remain under the management of the sellers, Lyle and Greg Evanson. Airgas will move the Vancouver Welding cylinder filling operations to nearby Airgas fill plants and the Vancouver retail store will remain open and operate as an Airgas store. The Dallas and Longview stores will also operate as Airgas.

President of Airgas Nor Pac, Mark Clemens said the deal was very exciting, \\$quot;We are very excited about this transaction and the opportunities that it brings Airgas. We are especially pleased that these new locations will strengthen our service to our core industrial markets. These locations, plus others we recently acquired in Tigard, Salem and Longview will improve the service we provide to our core customers.\\$quot;

In the second transaction, the one location of Cumberland Welding has become part of Airgas Mid America, which also operates in West Virginia, western Virginia, and locations in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. Lenny Twigg, grandson of Cumberland Welding's founder, will join Airgas Mid America as branch manager in Cumberland, MD.