AEA Recapitalizes Gas Innovations & Atlas for the Formation of Meritus


AEA debt financing for the formation of Meritus via recapitalization of Gas Innovations and Atlas


AEA Investors (“AEA”) Small Business Fund recently closed on a debt financing (the “Financing”) in support of the formation of Meritus Gas Partners (“Meritus”) via the recapitalizations of Willingham Welding Solutions Inc. (“Gas Innovations”) and Atlas Welding Supply Co., Inc. ("Atlas"). Meritus intends to partner with leading owner-operators to assemble a national federation of high-quality independent distributors of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and associated welding and safety supplies. The Financing consisted of a senior term loan, delayed-draw term loan and revolving credit facility.

Baird served as the exclusive debt advisor to AEA Investors on this transaction.


AEA Investors was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. The firm manages funds that have over $15 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies and mezzanine and senior debt investments. AEA Private Equity invests across three sectors: value added industrials, consumer, and services. AEA Small Business Private Equity is a strategy within AEA that currently manages $1.8 billion of invested and committed capital.

Gas Innovations was founded in 2002 with the goal of providing industrial gas producers and distributors a dependable, independent wholesale supply partner. Since its founding, Gas Innovations has grown to become a worldwide supplier of high purity hydrocarbons, refrigerant gases and specialty gases. Gas Innovations is located on the Houston Ship Channel, La Porte, Texas.

Atlas is a leading distributor of industrial, specialty, and medical gases as well as welding and cutting supplies. Operating in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama for more than 75 years, Atlas is a trusted partner for everything from supplying the appropriate gas and troubleshooting equipment to providing customized solutions that guarantee customers' maximum efficiency and offering seamless customer service.

AEA debt financing for the formation of Meritus via recapitalization of Gas Innovations and Atlas

January 2021
AEA Investors
Private Capital Markets
Packaging & Containers
Target Geography
North America
Acquiror Geography
North America