Airgas has announced it has amended and restated its senior credit facility with a syndicate of banks.

The five-year $1.6bn senior unsecured credit facility consists of a US$966m and C$40m (the US dollar equivalent of $34m) revolving credit line and a $600m term loan. The drawing on the term loan is contingent on the maturity of $100m of the 7.75 per cent medium term notes on 15 September 2006, and the closing of certain acquisitions.

Airgas is currently contemplating several acquisitions, which, if completed, would be funded with the borrowings that are available under the Credit Agreement.

Airgas also announced that as a result of the acquisitions under consideration, it suspended the three-year share repurchase plan it initiated in November 2005. The company will focus on using its cash flow to pay down debt, grow its dividend, and to continue investing in growth opportunities, including future acquisitions.