Praxair Distribution, Inc. has acquired Welders Industrial Supply, LLC of Pasadena, Texas, an independent distributor of industrial and specialty gases, welding equipment, supplies and related services.

Founded in 2009 by Ernest W. ‘Cotton’ Speed III, WIS supplies customers in the greater Houston, Texas area.

The company operates from a newly constructed retail and cylinder filling plant facility in Pasadena, Texas. The company has approximately $4m in annual revenue and 10 employees.

The WIS acquisition follows Praxair Distribution’s acquisition of Houston-based independent distributors Texas Welders Supply Company and National Alloy in December and August 2011, respectively.

Houston is among the top five welding markets in the US.

“Cotton Speed and his family have a long, successful track record of owning and growing gas distributorships throughout Texas. We look forward to further strengthening our ability to meet customer requirements through his and his team’s in-depth knowledge of the Texas market,” said John Panikar, President of Praxair Distribution.

“Our employees are dedicated to delivering quality products and services to our customers,” said Cotton Speed. “I am confident that combining our business with Praxair will benefit our employees and will enable us to provide an even broader array of products and services to our customers.”

The acquisition comes at a busy time of mergers & acquisitions activity for Praxair, following the recent agreement to acquire Texas Welders Supply Company (TWSCO) and the purchase of the American Gas Group, a leading supplier of specialty gases worldwide.