DANBURY, Conn., September 25, 2007 — Praxair Distribution, Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), its joint venture business, Welco-CGI Gas Technologies, LLC and GT&S, Inc., have signed an agreement to form an industrial gases distribution joint venture. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The intention is to establish the new company during the fourth quarter of 2007, with completion of the transaction subject to satisfaction of certain conditions and obtaining of regulatory approvals.
Welco-CGI and GT&S will contribute their current businesses and Praxair Distribution will contribute certain production-related assets including its Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, specialty gases manufacturing facility.
The new company, with estimated annual sales of $180 million, will have about 700 employees and serve approximately 34,000 customers in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, environmental, chemical, bio-technology, university research and metal fabrication industries. The venture will operate 46 production and distribution facilities and retail outlets in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
"The new company will be one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading suppliers of packaged gases and associated equipment and will continue to focus on meeting all customers' needs for industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment and services," said Praxair Distribution President George Ristevski.
"The opportunity to combine the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to customer service of GT&S with the resources of one of the largest industrial gases companies in the world will benefit our customers and employees," said Bryan Gentry, GT&S president and CEO. Gentry will serve as president of the new venture, supported by a management team of industry professionals from the GT&S and Welco-CGI organizations.
"The current Welco-CGI joint venture with Praxair Distribution, in place since the beginning of 2001, has been a tremendous success," commented Rob D'Alessandro, president and CEO of Welco-CGI Gas Technologies, LLC. "The broadened capabilities, infrastructure and resources achieved by combining with GT&S will present enhanced opportunities for future growth." D'Alessandro will chair the management committee of the new venture.
About the joint venture partners
GT&S, Inc., based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest privately owned distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related welding and gas equipment in the United States. It serves a diversified base of customers through a network of 36 facilities in seven northeastern states.
Welco-CGI Gas Technologies, LLC, based in Newark, New Jersey, and a joint venture company with Praxair Distribution, is one of the largest distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area.
Praxair, Inc. is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of largest worldwide, with 2006 sales of $8.3 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.