After 27 Add-Ons, CI Exits Tech Air

CI Capital Partners has agreed to sell Tech Air to Airgas, a subsidiary of Paris-based Air Liquide.

Tech Air is a packager and distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding equipment and supplies.  The company has more than 45,000 customers that operate across a range of industries and operates through 50 branch and fill locations in the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West. Tech Air has approximately 550 employees and annual revenues of $190 million. The company is headquartered in Danbury, CT (www.techair.com).

Tech Air was acquired by CI Capital in December 2010 and during the course of its ownership completed 27 add-on acquisitions. Recently completed add-ons were the November 2018 buy of Collingdale, PA-based Scully Welding Supply, a distributor of propane, industrial and welding supplies, and industrial gases; the August 2018 buy of Kemah, TX-based Speed Industrial Supply, a distributor of industrial and welding supplies serving the Galveston Bay area near Houston; the February 2018 buy of North Hollywood, CA-based Leeper Brothers, distributor of medical gases – oxygen, nitrous oxide, helium, and nitrogen – used by dentists and oral surgeons; and in April 2018 it acquired Denver, CO-based Colorado Distributing, a distributor of hardgoods to the power and utilities sectors.

Airgas, the buyer of Tech Air, is a supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases, as well as hardgoods and related products; safety products; and ammonia products and other process chemicals. The company, headquartered near Philadelphia in Radnor, PA and led by CEO Pascal Vinet, has more than one million customers, 18,000 employees and over 1,400 locations. Airgas (www.airgas.com) is a subsidiary of publicly-traded and Paris-based Air Liquide (Paris: AI) (www.airliquide.com). Air Liquide acquired Airgas in May 2016 for more than $13 billion, a multiple of 14.4x Airgas’ 2014 adjusted EBITDA.

“Growth through acquisition has been a key component of Airgas’ business model and remains a core part of our long term strategy,” said Mr. Vinet. “We look forward to welcoming the Tech Air team to Airgas, and integrating their complementary capabilities and resources to enhance service for our customers.”

CI Capital Partners invests from $25 million to $100 million in middle market companies in the following sectors: business services, consumer services, distribution, government services and defense, and light manufacturing. Since its founding in 1993, CI Capital and its portfolio companies have made more than 315 acquisitions representing over $10 billion in enterprise value. The firm is based in New York (www.cicapllc.com).

Harris Williams (www.harriswilliams.com) was the financial advisor to Tech Air.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | February 7, 2019

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