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UNION CARBIDE INDUSTRIAL GASES SELLS MAJORITY INTEREST IN GAS TECH FORMER LINDE GASES OF MIDWEST SOLD TO EMPLOYEES

   UNION CARBIDE INDUSTRIAL GASES SELLS MAJORITY INTEREST IN GAS TECH
            FORMER LINDE GASES OF MIDWEST SOLD TO EMPLOYEES
    DANBURY, Conn., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Union Carbide Industrial Gases Inc. (UCIG) announced today that it has sold a majority interest in Gas Tech Incorporated, previously known as Linde Gases of the Midwest, Inc., to the employees of that company.  UCIG will continue to hold a significant minority interest.  Gas Tech is a major factor in the Midwest welding supply market, with 280 employees at 18 locations in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and over $50 million in annual sales.
    Gas Tech will be headquartered in Indianapolis and will continue the business it conducted when it was a wholly owned subsidiary of UCIG.  In addition, Gas Tech will operate the newly acquired Johnson Welding Supply, formerly an independent distributorship based in Terre Haute, Ind.
    UCIG is the leading industrial gases supplier in North and South America and ranks as one of the three largest industrial gas companies worldwide.  Gas Tech is the second former UCIG subsidiary in which an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) has been created.  These transactions are part of UCIG's restructuring to phase out its direct involvement in the retail segment of the welding supply business in the United States.
    Joe Rivero, a UCIG vice president, said, "We think this is the most effective way for us to participate in the important small end-user segment of the industrial gases business.  We intend to remain a strong player in this market, working through joint ventures and independent distributors."
    Gas Tech is led by its president, Joe Clark, who was formerly president of Linde Gases of the Midwest and Johnson Welding Supply. Prior to that, he had been vice president of packaged gases for UCIG.
    Clark said, "All of our employees are excited about offering the advantages that go with a full-service, high-quality, technically competent supplier of welding gases and equipment, with one big plus -- the added enthusiasm, dedication, pride and vigor that come from employee ownership.  When you talk to someone at Gas Tech, you're literally talking to the owner."
    Gas Tech's management team also includes Joe Cappozzo, chief financial officer; Carl Koch, general manager for Chicago and northern Indiana; Bob Lang, general manager for Wisconsin, and Dave Rider, general manager for central Indiana.  All four were previously key managers in Linde Gases of the Midwest.
    Bank One, Indianapolis, NA provided the financing for the transaction and will serve as Gas Tech's principal bank.
    Union Carbide Industrial Gases, Inc. presently a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) (NYSE: UK), is to be spun off from UCC and become a freestanding company within the next four to six months.  UCIG had 1990 consolidated sales of $2.4 billion and sales of about $3.0 billion when including the sales of companies it carries at equity.
    -0-        1/20/92
    /CONTACT:  J.D. Secor of Union Carbide Industrial Gases, 203-794-5548/
    (UK) CO:  Union Carbide Industrial Gases Inc.; Gas Tech Inc. ST:  Connecticut IN:  CHM SU:  TNM FC-TO -- NY029 -- 1401 01/20/92 11:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1992
Words:511
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