Praxair Distribution, Inc. (PDI), a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., has executed a definitive agreement to acquire Houston, Texas-based Texas Welders Supply Company (TWSCO).

The companies had expected to close the transaction by 31st December (2011), subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

TWSCO, a long-time distributor of Praxair, is the largest independent gas and welding products distributor in the greater Houston area with projected 2011 sales of $56m and 130 employees. The company operates from four locations, including a state-of-the-art cylinder filling plant and specialty gas laboratory located in north Houston.

TWSCO was formed in 1983 and is majority-owned and controlled by the founding Chenoweth family.

“The Chenoweths have a multi-generational history of building successful industrial gas distributorships in Houston,” said John Panikar, President of PDI.

“TWSCO represents the culmination of their efforts and is one of the top 15 independent distributors in the country. It has a world-class facility and talented people to support growth. We are excited to have the TWSCO employees join the Praxair team and look forward to serving our new customers.”

Growing presence

“Praxair is the best operational and strategic fit for us,” said TWSCO President Scott Chenoweth, one of the three majority shareholders.

“Our dedicated employees have delivered quality products and services with complete confidence and customer satisfaction, and combining our business with Praxair will continue to benefit our customers and employees.”

PDI reportedly has a growing packaged gases presence in the Houston area, having acquired another independent distributor, National Alloy, in August 2011.

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

“TWSCO’s sales, technical support and related services are directed primarily to the energy sector, which, combined with Praxair’s broader presence serving global refinery and petrochemical customers along the Gulf Coast with pipeline and bulk liquid gases, expands Praxair’s capabilities to supply industrial and specialty gases, equipment and services to these customers,” added Panikar.