Air Liquide USA, Houston, Texas, announced plans to acquire Airgas, Radnor, Pa. In the transaction, Airgas will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Liquide.

“This combination offers significant benefits for all of our stakeholders due to the highly complementary nature of the two businesses,” says Benoît Potier, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide. “It also advances Air Liquide’s vision to lead the industry and deliver long-term performance while acting responsibly. This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient U.S. market, and offers continuous growth opportunities. Airgas is the industry leader in U.S. packaged gases with a customer-centric organization, and we are confident in our ability to successfully combine operations. Airgas is a unique partner, and together we will continue to advance our strategy based on profitable growth and innovation over the long-term.”

“This transaction is compelling for our shareholders, arising from the persistent execution of our business strategy for more than three decades,” adds Peter McCausland, executive chairman of Airgas. “Air Liquide’s long-term vision and strong heritage in the U.S. make it the right fit for our valued customers, and the combination creates significant opportunities for the talented employees of both companies. Airgas customers and employees will benefit from Air Liquide’s unrivalled global footprint and strength in technology, innovation and operational efficiency, while Airgas is ready to bring the entrepreneurial culture and packaged gas excellence that have driven our success to date. We are excited about the prospects of integrating these two businesses to create the largest industrial gas company in the world. We look forward to working closely with Air Liquide to complete the transaction and achieve a smooth transition.”

Combining Air Liquide and Airgas will bring together two highly complementary businesses to deliver greater value, service and innovation to customers in North America and around the world. In the United States, Airgas’ leadership in the packaged gases business and associated products and services and Air Liquide’s strong footprint in complementary activities will increase the scope and competitiveness of the combined companies’ product offering.

This acquisition gives Air Liquide a greater presence in the U.S. market, and will ideally position Air Liquide for future growth. In addition, there is potential for further growth using Airgas’ footprint to accelerate the deployment of Air Liquide’s technologies.