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AIRGAS ACQUIRES LARGE INDUSTRIAL GAS DISTRIBUTOR

 AIRGAS ACQUIRES LARGE INDUSTRIAL GAS DISTRIBUTOR
 WILMINGTON, Del., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG)


today announced the acquisition of Virginia Welding Supply Co., headquartered in Charleston, W.Va.
 The company is a distributor of industrial, medical and speciality gases and has sales of approximately $20 million.
 Virginia Welding, founded in 1916 by V.S. Rice, is one of the oldest industrial gas distributors in the United States. Rice was also the co-founder of the National Welding Supply Association, the industry's trade organization. The company, now managed by a third generation of the Rice family, has risen to a position of prominence in the gas distribution industry.
 Current management, headed by William A. Rice Jr., will continue to operate the business as a new subsidiary of Airgas.
 Peter McCausland, chairman and chief executive officer of Airgas, Inc., said "We are pleased to welcome one the country's premier distribution companies to the Airgas network. Virginia Welding and Bill Rice will be fine additions to the Airgas team."
 Currently, the Airgas distributor network includes more than 250 locations in 33 states and Canada. Airgas, Inc. is the largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases in the United States with annual sales in excess of $400 million.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/28/92
 /CONTACT: Britton H. Murdoch or Steve Kapp of Airgas, 215-687-5253/
 (ARG) CO: Airgas, Inc.; Virginia Welding Supply Co. ST: Delaware; West Virginia IN: SU: TNM


MJ-JS -- PH026 -- 4225 07/28/92 16:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1992
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