A-Gas International has completed the acquisition of Houston, Texas-based Coolgas Inc., a leading independent supplier and distributor of refrigerants to the US market.

Last year was a busy year of strategic M&A activity for the company, with the transaction for Coolgas representing the fifth strategic acquisition completed by A-Gas as of October 2012.

It also formed part of the group’s acquisitive growth strategy, which is being executed both in the UK and internationally.

Founded in 1994 by Jesse Combs, Coolgas has grown over the past 18 years to become one of the leading independent distributors of refrigerants in the US. Coolgas’ ‘refrigerants made simple’ philosophy reflects the focus on customer service that has enabled it to grow first to a regional and then to a national player.

More recently, the company has commissioned a new refrigerant storage and packaging facility in Houston. Coolgas has distribution centres in California, Utah, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and Georgia, ensuring the company is close to its customers wherever they are located.

Coolgas has also become an EPA registered reclaimer of refrigerants in recent years, and a project developer for the generation of carbon offsets on the California Climate Action Reserve exchange. These capabilities enable Coolgas to manage the lifecycle of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and substances with high Global Warming Potential (GWP) to safeguard the environment.

Strong fit

So what does the deal mean for A-Gas?

The acquisition builds on A-Gas’ acquisition of Ohio-based refrigerant reclaimer and halocarbon management specialist RemTec International in July 2012 and provides a strong strategic fit, bringing a strong brand and complementary footprint that will accelerate refrigerants sales growth.

Further still, the reclaim and carbon credits businesses extend A-Gas’ existing operations in the US Environmental Services market, which is already well established in the UK and Europe.

John Rutley, Executive Chairman and founder of A-Gas International, said of the acquisition, “Jesse Combs and his management team have built a great business in the US refrigerant sector and we are delighted to add it to our rapidly expanding presence in this important market. The fit with our recently acquired business, RemTec, is perfect and allows us to offer a full range of products and services to our customers in the world’s largest refrigerant market.”

Jesse Combs, CEO of Coolgas, added, “I feel honoured that A-Gas saw Coolgas as a strategic fit and entry point into the US refrigerants’ distribution business. Our team of professionals have a customer service mind-set that I believe sets Coolgas apart from the rest of the industry. I have the upmost confidence that the A-Gas team will support and grow upon our ‘refrigerants made simple’ philosophy for many years to come.”