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Airgas acquires safety rental business

Airgas, Inc. announced its intent to acquire the assets and operations of Energy Safety Services Incorporated, doing business as Oilind Safety. The business, a leading U.S. provider of rental safety equipment and safety services, generated about $21 million in revenues in 2007.

The deal was expected to close this summer, subject to customary closing conditions. Oilind Safety, based in Phoenix, AZ, will operate as a stand-alone company within a new Airgas organization that includes construction and rental businesses.

Effective June 1, Jack Appolonia had been promoted to vice president of construction and rental businesses, reporting to Mike Molinini, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Airgas, Inc. Appolonia had been an area vice president within Airgas East since August 2004, overseeing eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

“Jack helped develop the business model for the first construction branch in Philadelphia more than two years ago and has worked with many leading contractors in his area,” said Molinini. “He and his new team, with the addition of Oilind Safety, will help us take our construction business to the next level.”

When the acquisition is completed, Oilind Safety, headed by its current president, Kirk Peda, will report to Appolonia. Airgas intends to offer employment to more than 200 Oilind Safety associates working in 16 locations, primarily in the Western U.S.

“We are very excited to join Airgas and look forward to expanding opportunities for our people and our customers,” said Peda. “The resources that Airgas can provide and the national marketing support will help Oilind Safety expand relationships with existing customers and open new opportunities for us.”

Founded in 1963, Oilind Safety provides a complete line of rental safety equipment, such as fall protection, breathing air and gas monitoring systems, and safety management services for audits, training and emergency response planning.

Airgas, Inc., 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.

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