Airgas Acquires Refron

One week after Airgas acquired Oilind Safety, the company announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets and operations of Refron, a national reseller and distributor of refrigerants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Officials for Airgas, a marketer of specialty gases, welding, and safety equipment, said in a release they expect to complete the transaction by the end of July. Refron, which is based in Long Island City, NY, will continue to operate as Refron, and will be integrated with Airgas’ existing refrigerant and reclamation business into a new company known as Airgas Refrigerants. Refron 2007 sales were $93 million.

Radnor-PA-based Airgas plans to offer jobs to about 60 Refron associates working in Long Island City, NY; Baton Rouge, LA; and Long Beach, CA. Its owners, Jay and Jerry Kestenbaum, whose father founded the company in 1950, will join Airgas in key roles after acquisition.

Chuck Broadus, president of Airgas Specialty Products, has been named president of Airgas Refrigerants. Jay Kestenbaum will continue to lead the Refron team, and become senior vice president for product management, vendor relationship and marketing for refrigerants, reporting to Broadus. Jerry Kestenbaum will continue as vice president of technology.

On June 6, Airgas acquired Energy Safety Services, doing business as Oilind Safety. The $21 million Oilind Safety provides rental safety equipment and services; it will operate as a stand-alone company within a new Airgas organization.

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