Memphis-based nexAir, one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the US, has sold its beverage division to fellow US gases company NuCO2.

A beverage gases distributor headquartered in Stuart, Florida, NuCO2 itself will continue to distribute to all markets currently served by nexAir.

nexAir’s beverage division, part of the company for almost 25 years, served a 14-state area and brought in around $13m of the total $110m revenue for the company annually.

According to company leadership, the decision to sell the division was made largely due to a desire to focus on core services and products, and in order to fit the overall strategic plan for 2009.

“This was just the right decision on many levels,” said Kevin McEniry, CEO of nexAir.

“We have found the perfect partner to continue serving our customers’ needs. NuCO2 has a client service approach and quality philosophy that mirror ours here at nexAir, and we know our beverage division customers will be in good hands.”

“Also,” McEniry added, “we feel confident that our employees moving to NuCO2 will be valued and have a great opportunity to continue their careers.”

A majority of the division’s 50 employees will transition to positions at NuCO2, with some moving immediately to other roles within nexAir.

nexAir is one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the US, based in Memphis and dealing in atmospheric gases including medical, specialty, industrial and welding gases. nexAir also sells related products, including specialized medical and welding equipment, as well as dry ice.