Praxair Healthcare Services to Acquire Home Care Supply

Praxair Healthcare Services to Acquire Home Care Supply

June 10, 2004

DANBURY, Conn., June 10, 2004 — Praxair Healthcare Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Home Care Supply, Inc. from an investor group led by Harvest Partners Inc., a New York-based multinational private equity firm. Headquartered in Beaumont, Texas, Home Care Supply is the largest privately held home respiratory and medical equipment provider in the United States, with 59 locations in 13 states.

Under the terms of the agreement, Praxair Healthcare Services will pay $245 million for the company. The board of directors for each company has approved the definitive agreement and the transaction is expected to close this month.

During the 2003 fiscal year, Home Care Supply generated revenues of $169 million. Praxair Healthcare Services and Home Care Supply will combine their operations, creating a $525 million healthcare business for Praxair in North America and expanding worldwide healthcare sales to over $750 million.

“The acquisition of Home Care Supply is a good organizational fit with Praxair and gives us service capabilities in 27 states,” said George Ristevski, president, Praxair Healthcare Services. “It also increases the density of our Northeast operations and significantly expands our presence from the mid-Atlantic to Texas. Our combined industry expertise and geographic reach will provide an excellent platform for sustained growth and will further accelerate our hospital to home strategy.”

Home Care Supply’s current management team is expected to continue with Praxair. Todd Christopher, Home Care Supply’s president and CEO, is scheduled to become vice president, U.S. Homecare, the chief operating role for Praxair’s U.S. homecare business.

“We are proud of what Home Care Supply has created over the last six years,” Christopher said. “Our shared views with Praxair about superior patient care and employee excellence will provide a strong foundation for future business development.”

Harvest Partners, founded in 1981, is a leading New York-based private equity investment firm, pursuing buyouts and growth financings of profitable, medium-sized businesses. Focused on specialty services, value-added distribution, consumer and manufacturing businesses, Harvest has over 20 years of experience investing in domestic as well as multinational companies. More information on Harvest Partners is available on the Internet at www.harvpart.com.

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2003 sales of $5.6 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.

Contact
Media Contact:
Jason Stewart

Email: jason_stewart@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2448

Investor Relations Contact:
Kelcey Hoyt

Email: kelcey_hoyt@praxair.com

Phone: 1-203-837-2118