Meritus Gas Partners has entered into a partnership with OzArc Gas Equipment & Supply, Inc., an independent distributor of packaged gases and welding supplies with headquarters in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

OzArc operates nine locations in southeastern Missouri, western Kentucky and northeastern Arkansas. The business has been owned and operated by the Garner family since its founding in 1945.

“Meritus is a great fit for our business and family,” said Bob Garner, OzArc’s principal owner and Chairman.

“By partnering with Meritus, OzArc will maintain its independence, brand and identity, and will remain under the leadership of the Garner Family. We are proud that our family’s legacy will carry on, and our valued employees and long-standing customers will be well cared for.”

Bob Garner will retire as part of the transaction while his co-owner and son, James Garner, will remain as President. James Garner’s brother and sister, co-owners Michael Beattie and Tracey Akers, will remain as Vice Presidents. James, Michael and Tracey will all maintain significant equity ownership in Meritus.

James Garner said, “As part of Meritus, we will gain access to financial resources, a veteran leadership team and a network of best-in-class gas distributors and management teams that will allow us to enhance customer service and grow the business in ways we may not have been able to achieve alone. We are excited to be investors in a national business with excellent growth prospects and exposure to other geographies and sectors across the US.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Meritus Chairman Scott Kaltrider said, “OzArc has an excellent reputation in the areas it services and we see immediate opportunities to help expand its current product and service offerings and geographical footprint to grow the business substantially. OzArc represents a key component in Meritus’ strategy of building a national federation of high-quality, independently operated packaged gas distributors.” 

Meritus launched at the start of 2021, with the announcement of partnerships with La Porte, Texas-based Gas Innovations and Atlas Welding Supply Co., Inc. Gas Innovations, which produces and distributes a wide range of high purity specialty industrial gases, and Atlas, a distributor of industrial, specialty, and medical gases out of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will continue to operate independently under their own local brands as part of the announcement made in January.