Gas supplier Praxair says it will buy soda carbonation company NuCO2 Inc. for $1.1 billion in cash, helping it expand into the restaurant business.
Praxair provides gases for industrial companies. NuCO2 supplies the carbonation used at soda dispensers in gas stations and fast-food restaurants.
Praxair says NuCO2 helps fizz beverages at 162,000 locations and is expected to have revenue of $250 million this year. The Danbury, Conn., company wants to increase NuCO2 business in the U.S. and extend it into other parts of the world.
The deal with Aurora Capital Group, the Los Angeles-based private equity firm that owns NuCO2, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter. If it goes through, the acquisition is expected to be neutral or add slightly to Praxair's profit this year.