Press Release: A-OX Welding Supply and A&B Welding Supply Join Meritus Gas Partners

NEW YORK, March 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Meritus Gas Partners (“Meritus”) announced today that it entered into a partnership with A-OX Welding Supply Co. Inc. (“A-OX”), headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD and A&B Welding Supply Co. Inc. (“A&B”), headquartered in Rapid City, SD. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

A-OX and A&B are leading independent distributors of industrial, specialty and medical gases, and welding and safety supplies, with eight combined locations in North and South Dakota and Iowa. A-OX and A&B have been owned by the Elliott family since their inception and operated as separate businesses. Co-owners and brothers, Tom and Michael Elliott, and their family will continue to lead the companies while maintaining significant equity ownership in Meritus.

“A-OX and A&B Welding have been in our family since 1964 and 1959, respectively,” said Tom Elliott, A-OX’s CEO. “Over the years, my four children all joined A-OX and A&B and assumed important operating roles. Together with A-OX’s President Kelly Kleinwolterink and CFO Tom Mahon, and A&B’s General Manager, Bryce Lutz, they transformed our businesses and both companies have experienced unprecedented growth. When we contemplated A-OX’s and A&B’s future, it was important to us to honor our family’s legacy. We chose to partner with Meritus to maintain our company’s independence and to protect the integrity of the businesses our family and loyal employees continue to build.”

Tom Elliott’s four children will maintain senior leadership roles at A-OX and all will have equity ownership in Meritus:

  • Tiffany Anderson – VP – Administration
  • Terran Bergdale – VP – Operations and Gas Technologies
  • Trenton Elliott – VP – CTO
  • Tisha Rodgers – VP – Procurement

“We are excited about the future of A-OX and A&B,” said Michael Elliott, President of A&B. “Our businesses are thriving and growing, yet we are also facing business challenges like other industrial gas distributors – customer consolidation, hyper-inflation with respect to our product and operating costs, and increasing regulatory complexities. As a member of Meritus, we will be a part of a larger organization which will help us accelerate our growth as well as navigate the challenges we face. We will work with our partners at Meritus to share best practices, leverage buying relationships and exchange growth ideas.”

“We are so pleased to welcome A-OX and A&B into the Meritus family of companies,” said Meritus’ Vice Chairman, Rob D’Alessandro. “A-OX and A&B are regarded in the top echelon of distributors in our industry and represent the epitome of ideal Meritus platform companies because of their emphasis on gas growth, impressive operating profit quality and strong leadership. They have made significant investments in their gas capabilities, including a new state-of-the-art packaged gas filling facility in Sioux Falls, SD. The plant can produce a broad spectrum of specialty gases and supplies independent distributors throughout the US with specialty gas products on a wholesale basis.”

“Moreover, their people are exceptional,” D’Alessandro continued. “Tom and Michael Elliott and the Elliott children are well known and regarded as leaders in our industry. Tom has served on a number of industry boards and the Elliotts and their employees regularly host gas and compliance training sessions at their Sioux Falls headquarters and speak at industry events and conventions. We are honored to have them as partners. The companies are poised to continue their exciting growth trajectory and we are looking forward to supporting the Elliotts and their employees on this path.”

“We are excited to be a part of Meritus and their family of great companies,” concluded Tom Elliott. “We really believe in Meritus, its model and the vision to build the industry’s first national independent distributor. We believe it is a realistic aspiration. We want to build something unprecedented with our new partners. We want to leave a lasting legacy in our industry.”

About Meritus Gas Partners

Founded in December 2020, Meritus is a portfolio company of AEA Investors Small Business Private Equity. Meritus is assembling a national network of high-quality independent distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases and welding and safety supplies, located in diverse geographies and serving growing end-markets. Meritus will partner with exceptional businesses and management teams, allow them to remain independent and entrepreneurial and support them to accelerate growth, improve business quality and enhance value. Owners are invited to invest meaningful equity into the Meritus holding company to allow them to share in the success of the overall platform. Visit us online at

About AEA Investors

AEA Investors LP 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. AEA has an extraordinary global network built over many years which includes leading industrial families, business executives and leaders; many of whom invest with AEA as active individual investors and/or join its portfolio company boards or act in other advisory roles. Today, AEA’s approximately 120 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Stamford, San Francisco, London, Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have approximately $19 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies, growth capital and debt investments. AEA Small Business Private Equity is a strategy within AEA that currently manages $3 billion of invested and committed capital. The team seeks to help grow and transform companies at the lower end of the middle market by sponsoring growing companies with proven management teams and superior business models.


AEA Investors
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Kate Thompson / Woomi Yun / Erik Carlson
+1 (212) 355-4449

SOURCE Meritus Gas Partners

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