Airgas has announced it has acquired Wright Welding Supply Inc, an industrial gas and welding supply distributor headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and 2 other distributors in Texas and British Columbia, with all 3 transactions closed effective as of 1st December 2007.

The acquisitions are thought to be adding a total of $22m in acquired annual sales, with the company purchasing Basin Welding Supply in Odessa and Mainland Welding Supplies Ltd in British Columbia.

Wright Welding Supply Inc operates in Iowa and eastern Nebraska from 5 locations, with an industrial and specialty gas fill plant in Des Moines. These operations, including around 40 employees, have been integrated into Airgas North Central, one of the regional companies within Airgas.

Ron Stark, president of Airgas North Central, commented, “We are very excited that Rick Kersey, the owner of this second-generation family business, and his team at Wright Welding will join us. They will add invaluable industry and operational experience to an already strong team in Iowa and Nebraska.”

Brent Sparks, president of Airgas Southwest which has integrated the Basin Welding Supply business into its regional operations, spoke of the deal, “In the past 5 years, Scott and his vice president of sales, Chad Brooks, have done an excellent job growing the business. We are pleased to welcome them and another 8 employees from Basin, who will give us better coverage in West Texas.”

Sparks also noted that Basin’s new fill plant in Odessa will improve capabilities to full packaged gases for customers in Odessa and the surrounding area.

In surrey, British Columbia, the acquisition of Mainland Welding Supplies Ltd will see the distributor company’s current owners and approximately 15 employees join Airgas Canada, which operates in Western Canada as part of the Airgas Nor Pac region.