Airgas Inc.announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and operations of Long Island City-based Refron Inc., a national reseller and distributor of refrigerants that also provides technical services and refrigerant reclamation services. Refron generated $93 million in revenues in 2007. The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of July, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Refron will continue to market as Refron, and will be integrated with Airgas’ existing refrigerant and reclamation business into a new company, Airgas Refrigerants Inc. Airgas intends to offer employment to about 60 Refron associates working in Long Island City, N.Y.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Long Beach, Calif. Its owners,JayandJerry Kestenbaum, whose father founded the company in 1950, will join Airgas in key roles after acquisition.

“As a leader in supplying refrigerants for over 55 years, we are excited about the prospect of joining forces with Airgas,” said Jay Kestenbaum, president of Refron. “Our ‘can do’ attitude will fit well with the Airgas culture. Our combined resources will help our people and customers meet the challenges of a changing industry as more environmentally friendly alternatives are required in the marketplace.”

Chuck Broadus, president of Airgas Specialty Products, has been named president of Airgas Refrigerants, effective immediately. After closing, Jay Kestenbaum will continue to lead the Refron team, and become senior vice president for product management, vendor relationship and marketing for refrigerants, reporting to Broadus.

Jerry Kestenbaum will continue as vice president of technology and will help assure a smooth transition for Refron’s customer-focused systems. Broadus will continue to report to Airgas’ Gas Operations Division PresidentTed Schulte, who will also become president of Airgas Specialty Products, which will focus on its industrial ammonia and process chemicals businesses.