Airgas today celebrates its silver anniversary year in corporate acquisitions.

Airgas Chairman and CEO Peter McCausland founded the company, then known as U.S. Airgas, with the acquisition of Connecticut Oxygen Corporation (Connox) on February 23, 1982.

He is still active in the company today and is delighted to reach 25 years of growth. Speaking about the anniversary he said, $quot;$quot;With more than 350 acquisitions successfully completed in 25 years, today we're celebrating the past, present, and future of Airgas.$quot;

McCausland had first looked at the $3.5 million industrial gas distributor in 1981 while serving as general counsel for the U.S. operations of Messer Griesheim, the German industrial gas company.

After leaving Messer to form his own law firm, McCausland eventually raised the funding to acquire Connox on his own in 1982. By 1985, he realized that there was a great opportunity to consolidate the U.S. industrial gas distribution business as post war independent distributors retired and decided to wind down his law practice to concentrate on the gas business full time.

In May 1986, U.S. Airgas completed a reverse merger with Werco, Inc.- which gave the renamed Airgas, Inc. more than $100 million in annual sales and sufficient scale to take the company public. It made its initial public offering on December 19, 1986 and a secondary offering in September 1987 and today sales top $3bn.

McCauslandis still dedicated to customer satisfaction and declares modestly, $quot;The same disciplined business approach that laid the foundation for this company provides sustained momentum for our shareholders today. Today's anniversary is also a celebration of our customers, suppliers, associates, and shareholders who have enabled this success over the past 25 years.$quot;