gasworld Business Intelligence examines the rapid expansion of Tech Air over the past 12 months, and how the distributer segment of the industrial gases business in the US is changing.

Gas & Alloy Supply Co. (GASCO) has become the ninth add-on acquisition in 12 months for the Connecticut-based industrial, medical and specialty gas distributor, Tech Air.

Tech Air has completed no less than 15 add-on acquisitions since CI Capital acquired the company in partnership with Tech Air’s management in 2010. The last year has proved to be particularly prolific for the company in terms of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity.

US Oxygen and Supply Co. and Specialty Air Technologies became the first of nine recently acquired companies. These operations are located in Texas and California, respectively, and added two new cylinder filling locations to Tech Air’s distribution network.

The next acquisitions were announced in the first month of 2015 – Compressed Gases of Augusta and A-L Welding Supply Inc in Gainesville, added a further cylinder filling plant and two distribution centres to Tech Air’s portfolio.

McGinnis Welding Supply Company located in Wichita Falls, became the fifth addition in late January - followed by Prest-O-Sales and Prest-O-Peconic of New York, in February. Over the summer, another two acquisitions were completed, allowing for the expansion of Tech Air’s businesses in California and Alabama.

Tech Air now operates through five locations in Texas, thanks to the latest acquisition of GASCO.

gasworld Business Intelligence values the industrial gases business in the US at around $20 billion, in 2014. Approximately 85% of the market value is generated by the majors (Praxair, Air Liquide, Linde, Air Products, Airgas and Matheson), with the remaining 15% generated through other producers and distribution companies, such as Tech Air.

When looking at other regions around the world, the market share that other producers and distribution companies account for, is generally much smaller than the percentage found in the US. gasworld Business Intelligence recently analysed the industrial gas markets of Western Europe, and found that other producers and distribution companies accounted for only 5% of the total revenues for the region.

One of the fundamental differences of these two markets can be found in its respective consolidation trends. The Western European market has experienced heavy consolidation from the major companies. While in the US, the highest number of acquisitions in recent times are attributable to smaller/mid-size distributors, such as Tech Air, Norco, and nexAir – the latter acquiring three businesses in the past 12 months.

gasworld Business Intelligence has recently completed their analysis the US industrial gases business. Each of the eight regional reports feature supply and demand analysis, market forecasts, capacity information and end-user analysis.

For more information on the new US series of reports, or other industrial gas markets around the world, please contact intelligence@gasworld.com, or visit http://www.gasworld.com/intelligence/gas-reports/.