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AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA INTEGRATES OPERATIONS

 WALNUT CREEK, Calif., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Liquide America Corp.'s President and Chief Executive Officer Robert D. Cadieux announced that the company has integrated it two United States operations, Liquid Air Corp. and Big Three Industries Inc.
 The merger of both companies was effective Jan. 1, 1994, and the new organization is Air Liquide America Corp.
 "We are aggressively challenging our status everywhere to eliminate duplicate processes, not only to reduce costs, but to create a single company culture. Integration will allow us to pool our resources, including the talents of all the people throughout the Liquid Air and Big Three organizations as well as streamline our business so our customers' needs and expectations can be met more efficiently," said Cadieux.
 He noted, "Air Liquide America is a customer-driven company. During the past year we've take significant steps to get closer to our customers, including the restructuring of our field operations in order to improve our services. With our quality management process in full force throughout the company, we've established teams of people at all levels who are involved and empowered to effect change and we're now realizing results toward our goal of total customer satisfaction."
 Air Liquide commercialized the air separation process in 1902 and provided the foundation of the industrial gas business. From there it has continued to build its worldwide operations. The company entered the U.S. marketplace in 1969 as Liquid Air. Big Three Industries Inc. was acquired in 1986.
 Air Liquide America's principal business is the production and distribution of industrial gases such as cryogenic and non-cryogenic oxygen and nitrogen, as well as carbon dioxide, argon, acetylene, hydrogen, helium and a full line of specialty and medical gases to a variety of industries. The company has an extensive pipeline network located along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. The company also distributes welding products, provides various field services to the oil and gas industry and is involved in the cogeneration of electricity and steam.
 Air Liquide America is part of the world's largest industrial gas organization, Air Liquide, S.A., headquartered in Paris, France. In 1993, Air Liquide announced that its operations in all the 60 countries where it conducts business would assume the Air Liquide identity logo. The strategy to take on a unified identity was prompted by Air Liquide's focus on its customers and an ongoing effort to improve its competitive position. With what is rapidly becoming an integrated international market, the Air Liquide symbol will promote the organization's abilities to serve its customers and affiliates wherever they expand around the globe.
 Air Liquide has 28,000 employees and posted 1992 sales of $5.7 billion.
 -0- 1/10/94
 /CONTACT: John Baird of Air Liquide, 510-977-6634/


CO: Air Liquide America Corp.; Liquid Air Corp.; Big Three Industries
 Inc.; Air Liquide S.A. ST: California IN: CHM OIL UTI SU:


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 10, 1994
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