Airgas
A Time of Challenge

FROM $20 TO $5

As the U.S. economy went through a recession at the turn of the millennium, certain challenges inherent in the growth of Airgas were exacerbated. The slow payoff to the complex and costly hardgoods strategy, the first expansions into foreign lands, the need for a stronger corporate staff, and conservatism within the Airgas Board of Directors all served to intensify the challenges of a prolonged downturn in U.S. manufacturing made worse by offshore migration.

“We sold off a lot of things we shouldn’t have, like our three companies in India, which were solidly profitable, and five solidly profitable companies in Poland. We also sold off our CO2 reserves in Mississippi....

Airgas’ stock price plummeted from $20 to a low of $5 at the height of the dot-com bubble in 2000. The stock price decline rattled the Board of Directors, which began to question repositioning and overseas expansion. An “activist” investor filed a shareholder proposal, challenging management’s strategic direction. Feeling pressure, the Board moved to sell a number of assets that were seen as low-return or “non-core.”

Despite the recession and the lack of confidence on the part of investors, Airgas still outperformed nearly all of its competitors during these difficult years.

THE PROMISE OF PURITAN

Puritan truck

One area where Airgas continued to expand its horizons despite challenging times was in medical gases, such as oxygen, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. In January 2000 the company purchased the Puritan-Bennett medical gas business. Puritan was a recognized and trusted name in the medical gas industry, serving hospitals, providers of home services, elder-care facilities and others in the healthcare industry. With $70 million in annual sales, Puritan more than doubled the size of Airgas’ existing medical gas business.

Today, Airgas is a top supplier of medical gases, offering a full range of gases and medical gas equipment to hospitals, doctor/dentist offices and home healthcare providers. Airgas has the largest medical cylinder fleet in the U.S. and over 350 FDA-certified medical fill plants.

“Puritan-Bennett represents a strategic opportunity in this growing segment of our core business, positioning Airgas as the leader in medical gas distribution in North America.”

Peter McCausland

2002: AIRGAS AT 20

Airgas birthday bannerAirgas birthday trolley

In just two decades, Airgas grew from a single, small, gas distribution company to the industry leader. Through more than 300 acquisitions, Airgas leaders and dedicated employees built a national company with nearly 800 locations.

Acquisitions 1993-2002

DISTRIBUTION ACQUISITIONS: FISCAL YEARS 1992-2002

EFFECTIVE DATE
ACQUIRED


BUSINESS ACQUIRED


ACQUIRING SUBSIDIARY

1993

06-01-92

 1.  Welder's Products & Services, Inc.

Midwest Airgas

07-01-92

 2.  Thompson's Welding & Logging Supplies

Cascade Airgas

07-27-92

 3.  Virginia Welding Supply Co.

Mid-America

08-01-92

 4.  Valley Gas & Welding Supply, Inc.

Great Western Airgas

09-01-92

 5.  Citiweld Welding Supply

Florida Airgas

09-01-92

 6.  West-Turner Welding Supply, Inc.

Lone Star Airgas

09-25-92

 7.  B & B Supply Co., Inc.

Potomac Airgas

10-15-92

 8.  Grace Welders Supply Fire and Safety Equipment Co. Inc.

Great Lakes Airgas

12-01-92

 9.  Roosevelt Enterprises

Mountain Airgas

12-01-92

10.  CWECO (ARTOM, Inc.)

Great Lakes Airgas

12-31-92

11.  Tri-State Welding Company

Virginia Welding

12-31-92

12.  Cryodyne Corp.

Potomac Airgas (Connox Division)

12-31-92

13.  Gayley Industries, Inc.

Potomac Airgas (Connox Division)

01-29-93

14.  Presto Technologies, Inc.

Potomac Airgas (Connox Division)

02-10-93

15.  Boarc Welding Supply

Great Western Airgas

02-01-93

16.  All-American Welding

Lone Star Airgas

02-01-93

17.  Welding Supplies, Inc.

Sooner Airgas

CUMULATIVE 146

1994

04-01-93

 1.  Havana Welding Supply

Florida Airgas

05-01-93

 2.  Sani-Products

Michigan Airgas

05-01-93

 3.  City Fire

Southeast Airgas

06-30-93

 4.  General Welding Supply

Southern California Airgas Airgas

07-01-93

 5.  PDI Western Distributing Group, Inc.

Southern California

07-25-93

 6.  WESCO Corp.

Virginia Welding Supply

7-25-93

 7.  Connecticut Gas Service

Potomac Airgas (Connox Division)

08-01-93

 8.  Commercial Maintenance

Michigan Airgas

09-01-93

 9.  Phoenix Distributors Northeast

Northeast Airgas Group, Inc.

12-01-93

10. Geneva Welding Supply

Empire Airgas

12-01-93

11. Middleton Welders Supply

Empire Airgas

12-16-93

12. Cryodyne Technologies

Cryodyne Technologies

12-29-93

13. Aerocare Home Medical Limited

Aerocare Home Medical Limited

1-1-94

14.  Range Arc

Northern Airgas

1-11-94

15.  Best Products

Great Lakes

1-19-94

16.  A-1 Industrial

Mountain Airgas

2-1-94

17.  AIRCO Gas & Gear - California/ Retail Operations Nevada

Sierra, Bay, So-Cal and Parsons Airgas

3-1-94

18.  Aalen Aides

Michigan Airgas

CUMULATIVE 164

1995

4-1-94

 1.  Cottet's Welding Supply Co., Inc.

Empire Airgas

5-2-94

 2.  Welder's Supply Company of Vermont, Inc.

Northeast Airgas

5-6-94

 3.  Hobart-North Welding Supply, Inc.

Great Lakes

6-21-94

 4.  Certain Operations of Liquid Carbonic Industries, Corp.

Potomac Airgas

6-30-94

 5.  Wojack Welding Supply, Inc.

Northern Gases

7-1-94

6.  Bethlehem Welding & Safety Supply, Inc.

Potomac Airgas

8-1-94

7.  The Jimmie Jones Company

Sooner Airgas

9-1-94

8.  Herring Welding and Industrial Supply of Opelika, Inc.; Herring Welding and Industrial Supply of Eufaula, Inc.

Southeast Airgas

11-1-94

9.  Post Welding Supply Company

Post Airgas

11-1-94

10.  RBJ Oil Well Equipment Corp.

Airgas Breathing Air Systems

11-1-94

11.  Poligaz S.A.

Airgas Poligaz

11-16-94

12.  Ontario Respiratory Professional

Aerocare

12-16-94

13.  Property Protection Company, Inc.

Virginia Welding

1-3-95

14.  Quinn Welding Supply Center, Inc.

Great Lakes

1-3-95

15.  McCorkle Janitor Supply, Inc.

Michigan

1-10-95

16.  McNeise Services Limited and McNeise Niagra, Inc.

Aerocare

1-31-95

17.  C & H Welding Supply Corporation

Empire

2-2-95

18.  Savant Welding Supply, Inc.

Great Lakes

2-10-95

19.  Westgas Welding & Industrial Supply

Sierra

2-3-95

20.  Albuquerque Welding Supply, Inc.

Lone Star

2-28-95

21.  Advanced Welding Supplies, Inc.

Post Airgas

3-1-95

22.  Chalmette Welding Supply, Inc.

Gulf States

3-1-95

23.  Northside Welding Supply, Inc. & Wheeler Co., Inc.

Florida Airgas

3-20-95

24.  Oregon Refill & Service Co., Inc.

Pacific Airgas

3-27-95

25.  Flintco, Inc.

Southern California

3-31-95

26.  Miller Welding Supply Co., Inc.

Empire Airgas

CUMULATIVE  190

1996

4-3-95

1.  Tech-Weld, Inc.

Houston

4-7-95

2.  Crawford Welding Supply Co., Inc.

Sooner

4-28-95

3.  Weld-Tech, Inc.

Post

5-1-95

4.  Wyoming Automotive, Inc.

Great Western

5-1-95

5.  D&M Industries

Parsons

5-5-95

6.  Trinity Welding Supply, Inc.

New Hub

5-9-95

7.  Cobra Industrial Gases, Inc.

Cascade

5-15-95

8.  Tolson, Supply, Inc.

Sooner

5-17-95

9.  Central Industrial Supply

Parsons

6-2-95

10. Kirby Welding Supply

Great Western

6-29-95

11. Red-D-Arc Limited

Red-D-Arc

6-30-95

12. Southeast Welding Products, Inc.

Southeast

6-30-95

13. Jackson Welding Supply, Inc.

Post Airgas

7-13-95

14. Berry Welding Supply, Inc.

New Hub

7-20-95

15. Reliable Gas

Midwest Airgas

7-31-95

16. Capital Welding Supply, Inc.

New Hub

8-1-95

17. Kennedy Welding Supply & Equipment Corporation

Trinity

8-1-95

18. Commercial Property

VA Weld

8-25-95

19. Baytown Welding

Airgas Houston

9-1-95

20. Plant Supply

Florida Airgas

9-1-95

21. Bill Estep Companies

Sooner

9-29-95

22. Bob's Welding Supplies, Inc.

Southeast

9-29-95

23. Southwestern Welding

Lone Star

10-5-95

24. Langdon Oxygen Company

Delta

10-7-95

25. Louisiana Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Gulf States

11-1-95

26. National Welding and Industrial Supply

Airgas Houston

11-2-95

27. Kennedy Welding

Trinity

11-1-95

28. ResPro Services, Inc.

Airgas Canada

11-2-95

29. Marion Machine Works, Inc.

Mid America

11-1-95

30. Kool Sanitary Supply

Midwest

12-1-95

31. National Welding Supply - Forth Worth

Trinity

12-7-95

32. Athens Welding

Trinity

1-8-96

33. IaTech Sales Co.

Central States

1-10-96

34. Fire Safety Company

Northern

1-15-96

35. Wichita Oxygen Supply

Lone Star

1-1-96

36. Acetylene Gas Company

Gateway Airgas

1-31-96

37. National Welding Supply Company

Michigan

2-1-96

38. Welders Equipment Company

Airgas Texas

2-8-96

39. Union Fire Equipment & Welding  Supplies

Michigan

2-1-96

40. American Welding

Delta

2-1-96

41. Midwest Handling

Red-D-Arc

3-1-96

42. Braun Welding

Gulf States

CUMULATIVE  232

1997

4-1-96

1.  Randall-Graw Co.

TriState

4-1-96

2.  IPCO Safety

IPCO Safety

4-1-96

3.  Industrial Safety Services

Airgas Safety Services

4-17-96

4.  L & L Oxygen

Post

4-18-96

5.  Attaway Carbonic Service

Southeast

5-1-96

6.  Christy’s Welding Supply

Delta

5-6-96

7.  Welders Supply

Mid America

5-1-96

8.  Van Waters & Rogers

Pacific

6-1-96

9.  Dothan Welding Supply

Southeast

6-1-96

10. American Welding Supply

Bay

6-30-96

11. H.E. Everson Welding Supply

Northern

7-1-96

12. Speedy Fountain Service

Airgas Beverage

7-1-96

13. Acadia Oxygen

Airgas Canada

8-1-96

14. Herring Welding Supply

Southeast

9-1-96

15. Rutland Tool & Supply

Rutland

10-1-96

16. Findley Welding Supply

Mountain States

10-1-96

17. United Central Supply

Mid America

10-21-96

18. Jason Soda Systems

Jason Soda

10-31-96

19.  Barbee Welding Supply

Southwest

12-1-96

20. Northeast Jackson Dome

Carbonic Entrprs.

2-1-97

21. Bill’s Welding Supply

Southwest

2-1-97

22. The Tool Store

Airgas Houston

2-1-97

23. Waco Welders Supply

 Trinity / WECO

3-1-97

24. Cascade Welders Supply

Pacific

CUMULATIVE  256

1998

4-1-97

1.  American Dry Ice

Airgas Carbonic West

4-1-97

2.  Power Source Welder Repair

Central States

5-1-97

3.  Central Welding Supply

Mid-America

5-1-97

4.  Cleveland Welding Supply

Central States

5-9-97

5.  Northeast Texas Oxygen

Sooner

6-2-97

6.  Jones Iron & Metal

Mid-America

6-5-97

7.  Carbonic Industries Corp.

Airgas Carbonic

6-13-97

8.  Giant Fire Protection

Airgas Ontario

6-1-97

9.  Kendeco Industrial Supply

Rutland

6-30-97

10.  Flux-Cored International

Red-D-Arc

7-1-97

11. AAA Dry Ice

Airgas Carbonic

7-1-97

12. Lyons Safety, Inc.

IPCO Safety

8-1-97

13. Home Oxygen Services, LTD

Airgas Canada

9-1-97

14. G.P. Modlish, Inc.

Gulf States

9-1-97

15. US Specialty Gases, Inc.

Potomac

10-1-97

16. Clift Welding Supply

Sierra

10-1-97

17. Key West Oxygen 

Southeast

10-1-97

18. Industrial Gas Products

 IGP Airgas

10-14-97

19. Carbonic Reserves

Carbonic Reserves

11-1-97

20. JWS Technologies

JWS Airgas

11-1-97

21. Appalachian Welding Supply

Mountain States

11-1-97

22. V&S Welding Supply

Gateway

12-1-97

23. Respiratory Health Service

Canada

  1-1-98

24. Joyce Welding Supply

Mid-America

  2-1-98

25. Hoprich Co.

Mid-America

  2-1-98

26. B.C. Industries

Carbonic West

  2-1-98

27. National Welding Supply

Gulf States

  2-1-98

28. Dry Ice, Inc. / Con-Gas, Inc.

Carbonic Reserves

CUMULATIVE  284

1999

  5-1-98

1. Abel Carbonic Products

Dry Ice

  5-1-98

2. State Welders Supply

Gulf States

  5-1-98

3. Emerald Welding Supply

Nor-Pac

  6-1-98

4. C-O-TWO Equipment Co.

West

  6-1-98

5. Safety Supply, Inc.

Mountain States

  7-1-98

6. Gas House Welding Supply

Inter-Mountain

  7-1-98

7. Robinson Companies

South

  8-1-98

8. American Carbonic Corp.

Dry Ice

  8-1-98

9. Red Ball Oxygen

Mid-South

  8-1-98

10. Nelson Equipment

Red-D-Arc

  9-1-98

11. Carbonic Products, Inc

Dry Ice

  9-1-98

12. Pacific Dry Ice, Inc.

Dry Ice

10-1-98

13. Hughes Fire Protection

Northern CA & NV

10-1-98

14. Valley Welding Supply

Southwest

10-1-98

15. A-Ox Welding Supply

North Central

CUMULATIVE  299

2000

  7-1-99

1. Brown Welding Supply

Mid South

  7-1-99

2. Home Medical, Ltd

Canada (Nor Pac)

  8-1-99

3. Oxygen Sales & Service

Nor-Pac

10-1-99

4. Interior Welding & Tools

Nor-Pac

1-21-00

5. Puritan-Bennett, Inc.

Puritan Medical Prod.

  2-1-00

6. Welding Tools & Gases

Michigan

CUMULATIVE  305

2001

6-1-00

1. Action Arc Welding Supply

Nor Pac

CUMULATIVE  306

2002

9-28-01

1. Air Liquide Intermountain Division

West

12-15-01

2. Associated Welding Products

Nor Pac

2-28-02

3. Air Products’ Packaged Gas Business

All

Cumulative  309