Praxair Distribution, Inc has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mittler Supply, Inc., a leading independent distributor of industrial, medical, speciality gases and related welding equipment and supplies, operating in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois in the United States.

Founded in 1946, Mittler operates a cylinder-gas fill plant, specialty-gas laboratory and a centralized warehouse for distribution of welding equipment and supplies at its headquarters located in South Bend, Indiana. The firm also operates several satellite cylinder-gas fill plants and 18 retail sales and distribution locations in the three states. The business generated sales of $73m in 2006 and has 210 employees.

Tom Mittler, chairman of Mittler Supply, said: $quot;The customers will have a greater assurance of product supply from our primary supplier, Praxair, and our employees will enjoy increased growth and expansion possibilities by becoming part of a national distribution network.$quot;

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.