Memphis, Tenn. (Jan. 4, 2016) – Memphis-based nexAir LLC, one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the United States, today announced its merger with 23 Praxair Distribution Southeast, LLC (“PDSE”) branches located in Florida and southeast Georgia and the acquisition of two Praxair Distribution, Inc. (“PDI”) branches in eastern Georgia. The transaction closed on December 31, 2015, and nexAir assumed operations of the 25 branches as of January 4, 2016.
PDSE was formed in 1997 as the result of a joint venture between PDI and the George W. Fowler Company, a long time industrial gas distributor in Florida owned by the William B. Porter family. The family will take an ownership interest in nexAir with the closing of this transaction. PDSE will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of nexAir. The current nexAir management team will lead the overall venture and, together with the PDSE management team, will integrate these new branches into nexAir’s organization.
“PDSE and its predecessors have a long tradition of strong operations, solid customer relationships, and an outstanding group of dedicated employees in Florida and southern Georgia. The PDSE and two PDI branches in Georgia, are perfect fits for our growth strategy in the southeast,” said Kevin McEniry, CEO at nexAir. “We look forward to making these PDI and PDSE team members and customers part of our family.”
This transaction will strengthen nexAir’s footprint and offer customers in the strategic Florida and Georgia markets access to the company’s industrial and specialty gases, welding equipment and supplies, as well as its dedicated sales team. As a result of nexAir’s joint venture with Praxair in 2012 and the company’s continued acquisition strategy, nexAir now has 67 branches across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
“nexAir is a highly successful packaged gas distributor in the southeast that has experienced significant growth and success . The union of PDSE and nexAir will allow customers in Florida and Georgia to benefit from our combined abilities,” said Doug Porter, president, PDSE. “Together we will have a stronger network and broader set of services for customers in this region.”
In addition to its knowledge of industrial and specialty gases and welding supplies, nexAir’s expertise in automation trends and the latest welding procedures will complement the services PDSE have provided to their customers.
During the coming months, the existing PDSE branches in Florida and southeast Georgia and the PDI branches in eastern Georgia will be rebranded with the nexAir name and nexAir and PDSE will combine their cultures of safety and efficiency across the entire combined operating territory. For more information, please visit www.nexair.com.
nexAir is one of the largest distributors of atmospheric gases and welding supplies in the United States. Founded in 1940, the company sells, packages and distributes atmospheric gases, including medical, specialty and industrial gases. nexAir also sells related products, including welding equipment, welding supplies, safety supplies and dry ice. For more information about nexAir, visit www.nexAir.com.
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Lauren Whisenant Waites
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