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Airgas Acquires Nordan Smith Operating in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama


Airgas Acquires Nordan Smith Operating in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama

RADNOR, PA – March 30, 2012 -- Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced it has acquired the assets and operations of Industrial Welding Supplies of Hattiesburg, LLC, which is doing business as Nordan Smith, a Hattiesburg, MS-based distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related supplies. The acquired business, with 17 locations throughout Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama, generates annual revenues in excess of $30 million.

After a transitional period, six of the acquired locations will be integrated into the Mid South region of Airgas USA, LLC, and eleven will be integrated into the South region. The Mid South region serves customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, North Texas, Missouri, Northern Louisiana, Western Tennessee, and Northwest Mississippi, while the South region serves customers in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The Mid South and South regions are among 12 regions which comprise Airgas’ distribution business.

“We are excited to welcome more than 110 Nordan Smith employees to the teams at the South and Mid South regions. Their reputation for exceptional customer service aligns well with Airgas’ customer-centric culture,” said Airgas Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael L. Molinini. “Nordan Smith’s broad range of industrial, medical and specialty gases and the hub production and distribution facility located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi will complement Airgas’ distribution business and continue to provide customers and branches with reliable products and expertise.”

Nordan Smith’s history dates back to 1982 when Robert Tatum led the acquisition of Industrial Welding Supplies of Hattiesburg, Inc. Mr. Tatum has since led the growth of the company by implementation of an acquisition program and organic growth initiatives.

“I am thankful to our loyal customers for all their support over the years. They can look forward to enhanced product and service offerings as we join forces with the industry leader,” said Mr. Tatum. “Airgas is a strong cultural fit for the Nordan Smith staff as well since both are highly entrepreneurial cultures that place high value on customers and associates. With Airgas, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for Nordan Smith associates.”

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 a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, and a leading U.S. distributor of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 14,000 employees work in approximately 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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 this acquisition adding talent to the Airgas team, and providing the arriving Nordan Smith team with a significant increase in resources for serving customers. We intend 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 us 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: our ability to successfully integrate the acquisition; supply cost pressures; increased industry competition; fluctuations in market interest rates; our ability to successfully consummate and integrate future acquisitions; adverse changes in customer buying patterns; increases in energy costs and other operating expenses; an economic downturn; the effect of catastrophic events; political and economic uncertainties associated with current world events; and other factors described in the Company's reports, including its Form 10-K dated March 31, 2011, subsequent Forms 10-Q, and other forms 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

Doug Sherman
Vice President, Communications
610-902-6270
doug.sherman@airgas.com

Director, Investor Relations
610-902-6256
barry.strzelec@airgas.com

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