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Airgas to Acquire Refron; Names Chuck Broadus President of Airgas Refrigerants


Airgas to Acquire Refron; Names Chuck Broadus President of Airgas Refrigerants

RADNOR, PA – June 12, 2008 – Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and operations of Refron Inc., a national reseller and distributor of refrigerants that also provides technical services and refrigerant reclamation services. Refron generated $93 million in revenues in 2007.

The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of July, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Refron, which is based in Long Island City, NY, will continue to go to market as Refron, and will be integrated with Airgas’ existing refrigerant and reclamation business into a new company, Airgas Refrigerants, Inc.

Airgas intends to offer employment to about 60 Refron associates working in Long Island City, NY; Baton Rouge, LA; and Long Beach, CA. Its owners, Jay and Jerry Kestenbaum, whose father founded the company in 1950, will join Airgas in key roles after acquisition.

“As a leader in supplying refrigerants for over 55 years, we are excited about the prospect of joining forces with Airgas,” said Jay Kestenbaum, president of Refron. “Our ‘can do’ attitude will fit well with the Airgas culture. Our combined resources will help our people and customers meet the challenges of a changing industry as more environmentally friendly alternatives are required in the marketplace.”

Chuck Broadus, president of Airgas Specialty Products, has been named president of Airgas Refrigerants, effective immediately. After closing, Jay Kestenbaum will continue to lead the Refron team, and become senior vice president for product management, vendor relationship and marketing for refrigerants, reporting to Broadus. Jerry Kestenbaum will continue as vice president of technology and will help assure a smooth transition for Refron’s customer-focused systems.

Broadus will continue to report to Airgas’ Gas Operations Division President Ted Schulte, who will also become president of Airgas Specialty Products, which will focus on its industrial ammonia and process chemicals businesses.

“Chuck has been instrumental in building our refrigerants business in the last 18 months, with the acquisitions of CFC Refimax and Gartech,” said Schulte. “Now with the addition of Refron, it makes sense to break out our refrigerants business. Our ammonia and process chemicals businesses also have seen tremendous growth under Chuck’s guidance since 2006. I will work directly with the Airgas Specialty Products team to continue that progress.”

Broadus became president of Airgas Specialty Products in April 2006, after serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Airgas West. Prior to joining Airgas in 2003, he served for three years as marketing director for Reliant Energy, Inc. in Houston and spent seven years with BOC Gases. He will continue to be based in Duluth, GA.

Refron is a nationwide supplier of a full range of refrigerants. With millions of pounds of inventory in more than 70 stocking locations coast-to-coast, Refron provides prompt, reliable supply of refrigerants to customers across the United States.

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.

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: the expectation that the companies will complete the transaction by the end of July 2008; the integration of the acquired business with Airgas’ existing refrigerant and reclamation business and the smooth transition for Refron’s customers; Airgas’ intention to offer employment to Refron associates; Refron’s owners joining Airgas in key roles after the acquisition; and the companies combined resources helping customers meet challenges of a changing industry. 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 complete the acquisition and successfully integrate Refron’s operations, including retention of Refron’s customers, employees and owners; continued customer acceptance of the Refron name; meeting customers’ challenges of a changing industry; the inability to replace older refrigerant gases with environmentally friendly alternatives; supply availability and cost pressures; an economic downturn; increased competition; customer acceptance of our products, including Refron’s products; adverse changes in customer buying patterns; adverse changes in general economic conditions in the U.S. and internationally; and other factors described in our reports, including Form 10-K dated March 31, 2008 and other forms filed by us 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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