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Airgas, Inc. Completes Five Distributor Acquisitions

RADNOR, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1998 -- Airgas, Inc. (NYSE-ARG), announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Hoprich Company, Inc., a major independent distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases and related equipment and supplies in Indiana and Kentucky. The company, with annual sales of approximately $13 million, has cylinder filling and distribution facilities as well as acetylene and dry ice manufacturing operations in Evansville, Indiana. In addition to its main operations and headquarters in Evansville, Hoprich has branch locations in Vincennes, Indiana and Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The company will be combined with Airgas Mid America.

In separate transactions, Airgas has also acquired four additional distributors: B.C. Industries, Inc., National Welding Supply, Inc., Clift Welding Supply and Joyce Welding Supply.

B.C. Industries, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a distributor of dry ice products to the Western coastal and Rocky Mountain states. The company, which will be combined with Airgas Dry Ice, has annual revenues of approximately $5 million and operates a second location in Phoenix, Arizona. National Welding Supply is an independent distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases and related equipment and supplies based in Mobile, Alabama. The company has annual sales of approximately $3 million and operates branch locations in Brewton and Jackson, Alabama. National Welding will become part of Airgas Gulf States.

Joyce Welding Supply and Clift Welding Supply are both distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment and supplies with combined revenues of approximately $1 million. Joyce Welding Supply, an add-on operation to Airgas Mid America, is located in Murray, Kentucky. Clift Welding Supply, an add-on business to Airgas Northern California and Nevada, is located in Yuba City, California.

Since the beginning of the Company's fiscal year on April 1, 1997, Airgas has completed the acquisition of distributors with annual sales totaling $262 million, including 21 industrial gas distributors with sales of approximately $77 million, two industrial product distributors with sales of $106 million and five carbon dioxide distributors with sales of $79 million. Currently, the Airgas distributor network includes approximately 700 locations in 42 states, Canada and Mexico. Airgas is the largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment in North America.

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