Airgas, Inc., headquartered in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, through its subsidiaries, is the largest American distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases (delivered in packaged or cylinder form), and hardgoods (welding, safety and related products).
In November 2015, Airgas agreed to be acquired by France’s Air Liquide for a total of $13.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2016.
Airgas is also the second-largest U.S. distributor of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, and the largest supplier of liquid carbon dioxide in the Southeastern United States. The company is also a distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants and ammonia products.
Most of its 15,000 employees work in 11 regional companies to serve a diversified customer base. Its integrated network of about 1,100 locations includes branches, cylinder fill plants, production facilities, specialty gas laboratories, and regional distribution centers. Airgas markets through multiple channels, including its own branches and outside sales force, a Strategic Accounts Team focused on large customers, distributors and resellers, telesales, catalog and eBusiness channels.
Airgas was founded by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland in 1982, and became a publicly traded company in 1986 (jobs). Through more than 400 acquisitions and internal growth, Airgas built the largest national distribution network in the packaged gas industry.
On 8 September 2009 (no jobs), Airgas replaced Cooper Industries in the S&P500 index.
In October 2009 (no jobs), John McGlade, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Products, a competing concern, privately asked McCausland whether he'd be interested in merging the two companies. McCausland rejected the idea.
In February 2010 (no jobs), Air Products initiated a public tender offer for Airgas. The offer was extended, and the price increased, throughout the subsequent year.
Air Products abandoned the effort on February 15, 2011, after a decision by the Delaware Chancery Court that upheld Airgas's extensive use of a "poison pill" defense.
In November 2015, Air Liquide announced a deal to purchase Airgas for $13.4B (including debt). This deal was approved by the Airgas Board of Directors and shareholders. The acquisition has now been finalised and announced on the 24th May 2016 and Airgas is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Liquide France.