DANBURY, Conn., June 7, 2005 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) and Blue Rhino today announced that Blue Rhino® branded propane tank exchange is now available at 100 participating retail stores throughout Canada. Participating retailers include Wal-Mart and Home Hardware in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
"Our research shows that eight out of ten Canadian households own a gas grill, and Canadian grillers use them more frequently than U.S. grillers," said Tim Scronce, president and chief operating officer of Blue Rhino. "Although propane tank exchange has been in Canada to some degree in the past, consumers in Canada have never had a branded choice like Blue Rhino. Now they do, thanks to the partnership between Blue Rhino, Praxair and Canada’s leading retailers."
Praxair acts as Blue Rhino's exclusive independent distributor, providing filling and distribution services across all six provinces. The Canadian agreement represents Blue Rhino’s first move outside the United States and Puerto Rico for its tank exchange services. Blue Rhino is the number one brand of propane tank exchange in the U.S.
"We have reached our first milestone, which was to build a foundation for growth for the Blue Rhino tank exchange business throughout major Canadian population centers," said Wayne Yakich, president of Praxair Distribution, Inc. (PDI), a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. "We expect to primarily use PDI's existing tank filling and distribution infrastructure to supply this market."
"We believe Canadian consumers who use propane tanks to fuel outdoor barbecues, deep fryers, patio heaters, mosquito eradication devices, and other appliances will appreciate the one-stop convenience of Blue Rhino service," Yakich continued. "Plus, Blue Rhino offers consumers a reliable product that is leak checked, safety tested, and precision-filled in controlled manufacturing environments. And each tank includes Fuel Check, a fuel-level indicator that is right on the package."
Blue Rhino is a leading national provider of branded propane tank exchange and complementary propane-fueled products to consumers. Blue Rhino tank exchange is offered at leading home improvement centers, mass merchants, hardware, grocery, and convenience stores, with branded tank displays at more than 35,000 retail locations in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Blue Rhino's propane-fueled products division is focused on appliances such as grills, patio heaters and mosquito eradication devices, which are sold through many of the same retailers that offer Blue Rhino's branded tank exchange service. Blue Rhino is a division of Ferrellgas, L.P. For further information regarding Blue Rhino, visit the Blue Rhino Web site at www.bluerhino.com.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2004 sales of $6.6 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com
Blue Rhino is a registered trademark of Ferrellgas, L.P.