RADNOR, PA - February 4, 2008 - Airgas, Inc., (NYSE: ARG) today announced it has acquired Merriam-Graves Corporation, an independent distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related supplies operating in 25 locations in New England and New York. The acquired business generated $47 million in revenues in 2007.
Effective February 1, 2008, the acquired operations have been integrated into Airgas East, one of the regional companies within Airgas. Airgas East will transition Merriam-Graves in an orderly process over the next few months. The acquired operations include a headquarters, industrial fill plant, specialty gas laboratory, and central hardgoods warehouse in Charlestown, NH, plus six other locations in New Hampshire, six locations in Vermont, five locations in Massachusetts, five locations in Connecticut, and two in New York.
Merriam-Graves traces its roots to G.L. Merriam Company founded in 1924 and R.S. Graves Company founded in 1925. The firms merged in 1962 and in 1966, Merriam-Graves Corporation was purchased by Henry K. Wakeman, Jr. Since then, it has grown from two locations to its present size. Scott Wakeman joined the family business in 1980 and served as its chief executive officer. Another son, Kit, joined in 1988 and served as president.
"We are excited to welcome Scott and Kit Wakeman, and all 225 Merriam-Graves associates to the Airgas team," said Fred Manley, president of Airgas East. "They will find that their experience and entrepreneurial spirit will fit well with the Airgas culture. The added locations fill in our own network and help us serve customers in New England and New York more effectively."
Airgas East, headquartered in Salem, NH, includes 86 retail branches, 40 cylinder fill plants, and 11 ISO 9000 series certified specialty gas laboratories. More than 1,100 associates serve customers in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and northern Virginia.
"Kit and I are excited to join Airgas and believe this transition offers the best opportunities to our talented staff and our loyal customers," said Scott Wakeman. "I want to thank all of our employees for their untiring support over the years. Now, as part of the Airgas family of companies, we will be able to offer our customers an even greater array of products and services as we continue to provide solution-oriented customer service."
About Airgas, Inc.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 14,000 employees work in over 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.