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Press Releases
Airgas Acquires Littell Industries Medical Gas, Piping Business in Southern California


Airgas Acquires Littell Industries Medical Gas, Piping Business in Southern California

RADNOR, PA – February 27, 2004 -- Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced that it has acquired the assets and operations of Littell Industries, Inc., of North Hollywood, CA, a California distributor of medical gas, equipment and piping installations for the medical, dental and veterinary professions since 1950.

The assets acquired, which generated more than $7 million in annual sales in 2003, include a medical gas distribution plant in North Hollywood and two branches in Bakersfield and Santa Ana, which will be integrated into Airgas West, one of 12 Airgas regional companies. A fourth Littell branch in Hayward, CA will be integrated with Airgas Northern California & Nevada.

Airgas is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases, welding supplies and related safety products. Through nearly 800 Airgas locations and 35 Puritan Medical branches, it is a leading distributor of medical gas in the U.S.

“Littell’s expertise is one of the oldest licensed installers of medical gas systems in California for doctor and dental offices, which will be an important new niche for our medical gas business,” said Max Hooper, president of Airgas West, which is based in Lakewood, CA. “Littell currently buys its medical gases from Airgas, so customers can expect no change in quality or service as we complete this transaction.”

As part of the acquisition, Airgas West has offered employment to most of Littell’s 48 employees. Jon Holmwood, president of Littell, will join Airgas West as a medical products leader, reporting directly to Hooper. Littell’s Clarke Marshall will join as a sales manager for the pipeline installation business.

About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related products. Its integrated network of nearly 800 locations includes 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.

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Forward-Looking Statement


This press release may contain statements that are forward-looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its rules, regulations and releases. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the Company’s plans to integrate the assets and operations of Littell Industries, Inc.; the expectation that the business will be an important new niche for the Company’s medical gas business; and that there will be no change in quality of service to customers. Airgas intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors and should not be regarded as a representation by the Company or any other person that the results expressed therein will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement include the inability to successfully integrate the Littell Industries operations; the Company’s inability to retain the former Littell employees; customer acceptance of the Company’s products; and other factors described in the Company’s reports, including Form 10-K dated March 31, 2003 and Forms 10-Q dated June 30, 2003, September 30, 2003, and December 31, 2003, filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


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For more information on Airgas, please visit www.airgas.com.
Contact Information

Airgas, Inc.
259 N. Radnor-Chester Road
Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
tel: (610) 687-5253
fax: (610) 687-1052

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