Praxair To Acquire NuCO2 For $1.1B

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) announced Tuesday that it would buy NuCO2 Inc. from private equity firm Aurora Capital Group for $1.1 billion in cash as the industrial gases company aims to provide beverage carbonation for restaurants.

Praxair logo

NuCO2 provides liquid carbon dioxide to retail establishments such as restaurants, convenience stores, taverns, theaters, theme parks, resorts and stadiums in the United States.

The industrial gases company has 162,000 customer locations and 900 employees with a business expectation to grow full-year sales in 2013 of about $250 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $115 million.

“NuCO2 offers a compelling value proposition for beverage carbonation,” Praxair Executive Vice President Eduardo Menezes said. “We plan to continue to grow the business in the United States, enhance distribution efficiency utilizing Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX)’s competencies in logistics, and extend NuCO2’s offerings to customers in other regions of the world.”

The deal is expected to close this quarter and to be “neutral or slightly” add to the company’s full year earnings per share.

Praxair aims to expand NuCO2 in the U.S., and to extend its offerings to other regions.

Prexair acquired Harlingen, a Texas-based Acetylene Oxygen Co. for a sum that was not revealed by the acquiring company. The company also bought PortGas Inc. in a previous acquisition.

Having recorded solid revenue growth for several years, the company recently came under the adverse effects of macroeconomic conditions and foreign currency downplay.

According to marketwatch, Praxair reported its Q4 income decreased by 1.4 percent as the company experienced its sales heavily affected by the dwindling European and South American market.

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) closed at $110.18 Monday and were inactive pre-market. Company’s stock has risen 2 percent in the past 12 months.