Bristol-based A-Gas (or “the Group”), one of the largest independent refrigerant gases, environmental services, speciality gases and chemicals providers has completed the acquisition of a leading USA based refrigeration supplier and distributor, Coolgas Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
The deal was transacted with support from leading private equity provider LDC, who invested in the Group in April 2011. The transaction represents the fifth strategic acquisition completed by A-Gas so far in 2012, and forms part of the Group’s acquisitive growth strategy which is being executed both in the UK and internationally.
Established in 1994, Coolgas Inc. is based in Houston, Texas and is one of the leading independent distributors of refrigerants in the USA. The business has circa 3000 customers, with an established network of distribution operations in California, Utah, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and Georgia. This reach ensures that Coolgas has close proximity to its customer base, wherever they are located across mainland USA.
Coolgas is officially recognised as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered reclaimer of refrigerants, meaning it has the capabilities to manage the lifecycle of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and substances with high Global Warming Potential (GWP) to help safeguard the environment.
The deal considerably strengthens A-Gas’ existing US-based operations, and better positions the Group as a business of scale in the world’s largest refrigerant market. It also complements the strategic acquisition of Ohio-based refrigerant reclaimer and halocarbon management specialist RemTec International, which was completed by A-Gas in July 2012, and extends the Group’s existing operations in the US Environmental Services market which is already well established in the UK and Europe.
In addition to deals with Coolgas and RemTec International, A-Gas’s acquisitive growth strategy has also included Australian-based Technochem in March 2012, SA Rural in May 2012, and UK based A-Zone Technologies in April 2012.
Coolgas brings considerable strategic firepower to A-Gas’s US operations
Investment Director, LDC
As a result of the acquisition A-Gas now employs 237 people. The enlarged Group will have an annual turnover of circa £130million.
Commenting on the acquisition, John Rutley, Executive Chairman and founder of A-Gas International said:
“Coolgas’ management team, led by Jesse Combs, has built a great business in the US refrigerant sector and we are delighted to add it to our rapidly expanding presence in this important market. The fit with our recently acquired business, RemTec, is perfect and allows us to offer a full range of products and services to our customers in the world’s largest refrigerant market.”
Ian Podmore, Investment Director of LDC said:
“Coolgas brings considerable strategic firepower to A-Gas’s US operations, particularly following the Group’s acquisition of Remtec earlier this year. Its strong brand and complementary footprint will further accelerate A-Gas’s refrigerants sales growth in the all-important US market, at a time when regulations are tightening and the industry is beginning to migrate towards a more service led model; a feature which has been instrumental in the businesses global success to date.
“Having now considerably enhanced their US operations to be in-line with well-established business units in the UK and Australia, A-Gas has cemented its position as a truly global entity in its sector, with major profit centres in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa and the USA.”
Yann Souillard, Managing Director of LDC South Region added:
“Since our investment in A-Gas in 2011, LDC’s South team has supported the business in the successful completion of five strategic acquisitions.
“One of our main investment objectives was to work in close conjunction with the management team to help roll out a ‘buy and build’ growth strategy and we have successfully delivered on this; adding sufficient scale to the business to ensure that it is now well positioned as a leading operator in the global refrigerant market.”
The deal was transacted with the support of LDC and A-Gas’ existing banking syndicate of Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets Acquisition Finance, HSBC and RBS.
Issued on behalf of LDC by Citypress.
Press information: Katie Dale, Citypress: T. 0121 230 1783; E. email@example.com