Press Release: Meritus Gas Partners Welcomes Tulsa Gas Gear to Federation

NEW YORK — November 18, 2021 (PRNEWSWIRE) — Meritus Gas Partners (“Meritus”) announced today that it entered into a partnership with Tulsa Gas & Gear LLC (“TGG”), headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

TGG was founded in 2011 by Don Stobaugh, Lloyd Hyle, Johnny Stamps, Steve Stobaugh, John Scott, John Wallace and Scott Row, a group of accomplished industrial gas industry entrepreneurs. Under their direction, TGG has grown to become a leading independent distributor of industrial and specialty gases, welding and safety supplies in Northeast Oklahoma, specializing in welding applications technology to the diversified equipment manufacturers based in the region. Upon transaction close, Don Stobaugh and Lloyd Hyle will retire, while Steve Stobaugh, Don’s son, will become the company’s President. Johnny Stamps and John Scott will become Vice Presidents of Sales and Operations, respectively. All former owners will roll-over significant equity ownership in Meritus.

“Through my father’s foresight, perseverance and close-knit network of friendships and partners, TGG has now earned a reputation for being the premier full service gas and welding products supplier in Northeast Oklahoma since its founding in 2011,” said Steve Stobaugh. “Having grown up in the business under my father and our partners’ tutelage, it was extremely important to me that, as we considered how to navigate TGG’s future, we partner with a team that honored our legacy and approach but also provided us the management and financial support necessary to help elevate our business to the next level. It was for these reasons that we chose to partner with Meritus – and we are confident that this partnership is an ideal blend of the past, allowing us to maintain TGG’s independence and legacy brand, and the future, which requires additional capital investment for growth, operating expertise and expanded network partnerships to capitalize on the opportunities ahead. We are excited to join the Meritus family as we move forward together with a shared vision for the next phase of TGG’s evolution.”

“In keeping with our previously articulated strategy of building a best-in-class federation of high-performing independent industrial gas distributors, we are pleased to welcome TGG as the most recent addition to Meritus’ rapidly expanding network of partner companies,” said Meritus Chairman, Scott Kaltrider. “Steve and Don Stobaugh along with Lloyd Hyle, Johnny Stamps, John Scott, Scott Row and John Wallace have built a premier distributorship since the inception of the business in 2011. TGG has invested in a first-class infrastructure comprised of a new packaged gas production plant and a broad fleet of microbulk assets. The business is led by trusted, knowledgeable professionals and a team of dedicated employees who provide unparalleled customer service and tailored solutions to their diversified customer base. This model has enabled TGG to grow at a pace well beyond typical market growth rates with a disproportionate share of this growth in recent years emanating from the company’s gas segment. TGG’s business is well positioned to serve as a high growth platform for Meritus in the Oklahoma and Southern Plains geographies and we look forward to providing the complementary resources and support to facilitate and assist the team at TGG in achieving their next chapter of success.”

In December 2020, AEA Investors LP, a leading global investment firm with $15 billion assets under management and a 50+ year legacy of partnering with leading middle market companies to accelerate growth, formed Meritus via partnerships with Willingham Welding Solutions, Inc. (d/b/a Gas Innovations) and Atlas Welding Supply. Meritus intends to partner with leading owner-operators to assemble a national federation of high-quality independent distributors of industrial, medical and specialty gases and associated welding and safety supplies, located in diverse geographies across North America and serving growing end-markets. TGG represents the fifth partner company to join the Meritus family of independent industrial gas distributors and the third this year.

About Meritus Gas Partners

Founded in December 2020, Meritus is assembling 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 www.meritusgas.com.

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 $15 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. The AEA Small Business Funds is a strategy within AEA that currently manages $1.9 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.

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