Airgas Inc. has acquired the assets and operations of Smith Welding Supply & Equipment Inc. and its affiliated company, Bayer Welding Supply, LLC. Effective December 31, 2007, six acquired locations in the Detroit area have been integrated with Airgas Great Lakes, one of the regional companies within Airgas.

Smith and Bayer had combined annual sales of $16 million in calendar 2006. Its central industrial gas fill plant in Ferndale, MI supported branches in Wixom, Clinton, Detroit, and Auburn Hills, plus a location in Warren operating as Bayer Welding.

“These new locations will expand our presence in the greater Detroit area, enhancing our ability to serve our customers,” said Kevin McBride, president of Airgas Great Lakes. “We also welcome Irving Sparage and about 60 Smith associates to the Airgas Great Lakes team.”

Smith Welding Supply, founded in 1917, has operated in the Detroit area as a family-owned business for three generations. Sparage, the grandson of founder Jack Smith, has operated the business for the past 28 years.

“Joining Airgas provides great opportunities for our employees and our customers,” said Sparage. “I want to thank all of our employees, whose hard work through the years has earned the respect and trust of our customers and suppliers. Now these same employees will be able to offer our customers an even greater array of products and services.”