Posted May 9, 2011

Airgas acquires Pain Enterprises

Airgas Inc. has completed the acquisition of Pain Enterprises Inc., a producer and distributor of dry ice and carbon dioxide throughout the Midwestern U.S.

The Bloomington, Ind.-based business serves a wide range of customers, including the food and beverage industry, hospitals, and industrial and chemical manufacturers. With 20 locations and more than 140 employees, Pain generated annual revenues of about $33 million in 2010. Airgas has integrated the Pain business into its Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice operations. Included in the integration are bulk liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice manufacturing plants in Hopkinsville, Ky., and Riga, Mich., a dry ice manufacturing plant in Muscatine, Iowa, and 17 bulk liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice distribution depots in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

"Acquiring Pain Enterprises significantly expands our dry ice and liquid CO2 business throughout the Midwest," said Phil Filer, president of Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice. "We see increased opportunities for expanding our Penguin Dry Ice brand into new geographies and more retail locations, additional growth for liquid CO2 and dry ice within Airgas' national accounts business, increased support with more reliable sourcing of CO2 for our Airgas National Carbonation and Airgas regional company beverage carbonation business, and the immediate expansion of Airgas Carbonic production capabilities."

Pain Enterprises was established by Jack Pain Sr., in 1957 as a welding supply business. In addition to welding gases, Pain quickly began to sell additional compressed gases, such as CO2. Their CO2 cylinder line grew into microbulk CO2 supply for the beverage carbonation business and finally into a substantial bulk liquid CO2 manufacturing and distribution operation. In 1977, Pain added dry ice production and distribution and experienced steady growth with that product line, as well.

"Pain Enterprises has a proven history of serving their customers," Filer added. "Our combined resources will now provide our expanded customer base with an even more robust offering of product and service solutions."