Praxair has acquired Casper's Welding Solutions & Supply in Ohio and Welding Equipment Company in California.

Both firms, with a total of 10 employees, were acquired at the end of October 2006, and reported combined total sales of nearly $3m in 2006. They each operate retail stores that supply a variety of packaged industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as welding equipment, supplies and solutions. Their combined strengths, skills and experience will be integrated with those of Praxair Distribution's approximately 4100 employees and 335 stores in North America.

"These acquisitions strengthen our ability to better serve customers in Southern California and Ohio," said Praxair Distribution, Inc. President, Wayne Yakich. "Each company has built excellent relationships in the communities they serve," said Yakich. "We welcome them and their employees to Praxair and invite them to help us build on the great foundations they've established."