Praxair Distribution Inc.


Praxair Distribution, Inc. (PDI) revenues have almost doubled since 2001, the result of both organic growth and acquisitions. A subsidiary of North America’s largest industrial gas supplier, Praxair, Inc., PDI is a major packaged-gases player in the US and Canada, with sales of $1.7 billion and 5,100 employees.

“Over the past several years, our management team has established a strong performance-based culture of accountability,which has allowed us to consistently achieve superior results,” says George Ristevski, President of PDI. “Our foundation of rigorous operational discipline provides a solid basis for continued profitable growth.”

PDI’s successful acquisition program is an example of how operational discipline translates into financial and marketplace strength. Since 2007, PDI has acquired 26 companies representing total sales exceeding $350 million. Most acquisitions are integrated into the PDI organization immediately, and all are integrated within 12 months. Teams comprised of acquired-company employees along with Praxair veterans follow a playbook built on the experience of previous acquisitions. “While we work within a disciplined framework, our process is flexible enough to adapt to local market needs,” says Ristevski. “The teams also identify what has been working well in an acquired business and rapidly transfer any best practices to PDI at large.”

Frank Kasnick, one of PDI’s six regional vice presidents, knows the integration process first-hand. Back in 2006, he was Executive Vice President at Mittler Supply, a successful packaged-gases company based in South Bend, IN, serving customers in three states. Mittler’s owner was planning to retire, and Kasnick was helping to evaluate what was needed to move the business to the next level. He wanted to maintain Mittler’s strong local franchise, entrepreneurial culture, and its close-knit, experienced employee team. At the same time, there were long-term growth strategies and access to capital to be considered.

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