BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer email@example.com
A large welding supply distributor based in Pennsylvania has purchased a small local competitor in a transaction expected to preserve the jobs of 14 Bakersfield workers.
Airgas Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it has bought the assets and operations of Bakersfield-based Terjan Co. Inc., which has done business as Valley Welding & Industrial Supply since 2000. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Seller Jan Meyer, co-owner of local hardware chain Floyd's General Store, said Floyd's will have to move its administrative operations off the Meany Avenue property it shares with Valley Welding, but that his 14 former employees won't be displaced.
"The (welding company) employees are staying put," he said.
An Airgas representative said in an email Tuesday that all 14 of the workers have been "integrated" into the company's western region.
Airgas distributes industrial, medical and specialty gases, chemicals and products; it also produces gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Traded on the New York Stock Exchange, it employs more than 15,000 workers at more than 1,000 locations, including an office on 7th Standard Road that Meyer said would stay open.
Airgas has acquired more than 400 companies over the last 30 years, including six so far this month.
Meyer's father, Paul, opened Valley Welding in 1935. The company serves the area's industrial and agricultural customers with cylinder filling and warehousing operations.
Meyer told The Californian last month that he was in discussions with several potential buyers, saying he was ready to retire. Some of the would-be suitors were interested in taking over the Meany Avenue property and others were not, he said.
Meyer said Floyd's was planning to move its administrative office to Westchester even before the Airgas deal closed Aug. 1.