Airgas, an Air Liquide company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tech Air Corporate Holdings, Inc. (TA), a large independent distributor of industrial gases and welding supplies serving various geographies in the US.

This transaction, which is subject to approval by US antitrust authorities, will enable Airgas to further strengthen its network in the US with a complementary footprint to better serve customers while generating significant efficiencies.

Founded in 1935, Tech Air is a major distributor of industrial, medical and specialty packaged gases, welding equipment, and supplies. Tech Air is owned by CI Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, and Tech Air management. Serving more than 45,000 customers, the company, comprises of approximately 550 employees and has annual revenues of approximately $190m. Tech Air operates 50 locations in California, Texas, the Northeast and Southeast.

With this acquisition, Airgas will continue to further strengthen its distribution network, enabling more proximity to local customers. Leveraging Air Liquide’s integrated model, the acquisition is expected to deliver significant efficiencies. Moreover, customers will benefit from an expanded offering as well as a wider distribution network and a leading digital platform.

Over the years, Airgas has successfully acquired and integrated companies’ operations and associates to create an industry-leading distribution network in the US serving a variety of customers safely and reliably.

Pascal Vinet, CEO of Airgas, Inc. and Air Liquide Executive Committee Member, commented, “Growth through acquisition has been a key component of Airgas’ business model and remains a core part of our long term strategy. We look forward to welcoming the Tech Air team to Airgas, and integrating their complementary capabilities and resources to enhance service for our customers.”

Subject to the approval of US antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in 2019.