Airgas, which owns North American welding equipment rental specialist Red-D-Arc, has been acquired by France-based industrial gas supplier Air Liquide in a US$13.4 billion (€12.5 billion) deal.

Air Liquide is present in 80 countries and supplies gases, technologies and services for the industrial and healthcare markets. The deal would see Airgas shareholders receive US$143 (€134) per share, and the company become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Liquide.

Air Liquide chairman and CEO Benoît Potier said the two businesses were highly complementary.

“This acquisition increases our geographic reach in the resilient US market, and offers continuous growth opportunities. Airgas is the industry leader in US packaged gases with a customer-centric organization and we are confident in our ability to successfully combine operations.

“Airgas is a unique partner, and together we will continue to advance our strategy based on profitable growth and innovation over the long-term.”

And Peter McCausland, Airgas executive chairman, added, “Airgas customers and employees will benefit from Air Liquide’s unrivalled global footprint and strength in technology, innovation and operational efficiency, while Airgas is ready to bring the entrepreneurial culture and packaged gas excellence that have driven our success to date."

Air Liquide said the acquisition would reinforce its global leadership position, increasing Gas & Services sales by around + 30%.

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