New York-based holding company Meritus Gas Partners has acquired OXARC Inc., the company announced April 7. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1968, OXARC is a distributor of industrial and specialty gases, welding and safety supplies. OXARC is based in Spokane, Washington, and operates 20 locations across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
OXARC will join Meritus’s portfolio, which includes independent distributors of industrial, medical, specialty gases, welding and safety supplies, according to a news release.
“We are thrilled to welcome OXARC into the Meritus family of operating companies,” Meritus Chairman Scott Kaltrider said in the release. “The Walmsleys have built one of the leading distributorships in the country for over 55 years. OXARC represents a platform opportunity for Meritus to serve the Pacific Northwest, one of the most diverse and growing economies in the country. OXARC’s footprint is vast and its expansive bulk and packaged gas capabilities are unique for a distributor.”
The Walmsley family has owned and operated OXARC since its inception. Co-Executive Vice Presidents Jenna Fitzgerald — granddaughter of OXARC founder Jerry Walmsley — and Jason Kirby will continue to lead OXARC while holding significant equity ownership in Meritus.
“OXARC has earned the reputation as the premier independent distributor in the Pacific Northwest, fulfilling my grandfather’s vision,” Fitzgerald said in the release. “When we contemplated OXARC’s future, it was important to us to honor our grandfather and continue our family’s legacy. Partnering with Meritus affords two generations of Walmsley owners to retire and monetize their investments, while allowing the company to remain under the direction of the family’s third generation. We will maintain OXARC’s independence and brand and remain committed to our dedicated employees and loyal customers.”
“We are excited about partnering with Meritus and the future of OXARC,” Kirby added “While our business is thriving, Meritus’ support can turbocharge our growth through further capital investment, follow-on acquisitions and expansion into new geographies and markets. We also look forward to networking among the other Meritus operating companies to share best practices, take advantage of buying relationships and exchange customer leads.”
OXARC is Meritus’s second acquisition of 2023 after the company made three additions to its portfolio in 2022. Most recently, Meritus acquired MagneGas Welding Supply — South in February.