Praxair, Inc. and nexAir LLC plan to form a joint venture (JV) in the Southeast US, an entity which will have sales of approximately $150m.

Memphis-based nexAir LLC is one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the US.

The JV will see Praxair contribute eight branches of its packaged gas distribution business in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Praxair will also acquire an equity stake in the combined business.

Kevin McEniry, nexAir CEO, said of the deal, “We have worked with Praxair for 72 years and we are confident this expansion of that relationship will mean future opportunities for all involved.”

John Panikar, president of Praxair Distribution, Inc., the packaged gas subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., added confidently, “Developing a closer relationship with nexAir allows both companies to expand into new areas that will benefit from our combined capabilities.”

“Praxair is making major investments in Memphis and the broader southeast region. Our investment in nexAir is an expression of our confidence in our ability to grow faster together.”