Press Release: Meritus Gas Partners Welcomes Specialty Products and Leasing to Growing Federation

NEW YORK, March31,2022  /PRNewswire/ — Meritus Gas Partners (“Meritus”) announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Specialty Products and Leasing, Inc. (“SPL”), a wholesale producer and packager of hydrocarbon gases located in Taft, California. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2018, SPL produces and fills high purity butane, isobutane and propane for packaged gas distributors serving the cannabis extraction markets in the western region of the U.S. Hydrocarbon gas extraction is the primary solvent-based method for separating cannabinoids from the cannabis plant for the production of cannabis extracts and concentrates. SPL is led by founder, Mark Straka, and co-owner and President, Steve Bogard, both of whom will maintain significant equity ownership in Meritus following the transaction.

“The U.S. legal cannabis market is valued at nearly $20 billion and is growing at over 20% annually, driven by an increasing number of states legalizing cannabis coupled with strong year-over-year growth in legacy markets, such as California,” said Meritus Chairman, Scott Kaltrider. “Meritus is well-positioned to capitalize on this expanding market as our platform operating company, Gas Innovations, located in Houston, Texas, is widely regarded as the leading wholesaler of hydrocarbon gases in the U.S. We are excited to welcome SPL into the Meritus family as a strategic complement to Gas Innovations. Mark Straka had tremendous foresight to acquire a plant in California, in the heart of one of the country’s largest cannabis markets, and SPL has earned an excellent reputation for serving distributors reliably in the western part of the U.S. Steve Bogard is a proven operator and we are confident he will continue leading SPL into its next phase of growth with the full support of the Meritus platform. We look forward to further investing in the SPL business and expanding its capabilities and infrastructure.”

“We are thrilled to become a part of Meritus’ national federation of successful companies and to partner with Gas Innovations to better serve our combined customer bases,” said Steve Bogard. “SPL has developed a reputation for service reliability in our region, and we look forward to learning from and growing with our partners at Meritus through sharing best practices, leveraging vendor relationships and exchanging customer leads.”

“As a customer-centric organization, we are excited about what this partnership means for our customers, especially distributors located in the western region of the U.S.,” added Ashley Madray, President of Gas Innovations. “We will now be able to provide our valued customers with increased reliability due not only to a more proximal supply point, but also increased diversity and redundancy of supply through our partner, SPL. The SPL plant is world class and together, we will have the ability to offer expanded product lines and enhanced services to our customers.”

About Meritus Gas Partners

Founded in December 2020, AEA Investors formed Meritus to assemble a national federation 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 100 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Stamford, San Francisco, London,Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have over $14 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies, growth capital and mezzanine and senior debt investments.

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