Praxair to Buy NuCO2 for $1.1 Billion to Add Carbonation

Praxair Inc. (PX), the biggest U.S. industrial-gases company, agreed to buy NuCO2 Inc. (NUCO) for $1.1 billion in cash to provide beverage carbonation for restaurants.

Praxair will buy NuCO2 from Aurora Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm. The deal is expected to close this quarter and to be neutral or “slightly accretive” to Praxair’s 2013 earnings per share, the Danbury, Connecticut- based company said in a statement today.

NuCO2 provides beverage carbonation services to restaurants and convenience stores in the U.S., according to the statement. The business expects to generate sales of about $250 million this year and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $115 million.

Praxair produces, sells and distributes oxygen, nitrogen, argon and other gases to industry. Praxair plans to expand NuCO2 in the U.S., and to extend its offerings to other regions, Eduardo Menezes, an executive vice president at Praxair, said in the statement. The company will use its logistical network to expand NuCO2, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York at jresnickault@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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