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Airgas Completes Divestiture Of Calcium Carbide And Carbon Products Manufacturing Operations; Agrees To Sell Investments In Poland And Thailand

RADNOR, Pa.--Jan. 6, 1999--Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) announced today the completion, on December 31,1998, of the divestiture of its calcium carbide and carbon products manufacturing operations. The sale will result in a net gain of approximately $13 million. Airgas also announced the signing of a letter of intent with Linde AG, providing for the purchase by Linde of Airgas' investments in Poland and Thailand for approximately $50 million. The transactions, which are subject to regulatory approvals, completion of due diligence and definitive documentation, are expected to close in March 1999.

Peter McCausland, Airgas' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "These actions again reaffirm our focus on our core U.S. distribution business. The Airgas Repositioning for Growth initiative includes redeployment of cash from non-strategic businesses and continued growth in the U.S. distribution market."

Airgas, Inc. is the largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment in the United States. Its distributor network includes over 700 locations in 44 states.

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