American Gas Products is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2019. However, the company’s roots trace back to 1978, when Louis D’Auria purchased a local welding supply distributor and started American Gas Products. Together with his son, Mike D’Auria, Louis grew the company until 1999, when it was sold to BOC gases.
“After we sold to BOC, I became the New England business manager for BOC,” says Mike D’Auria, president of AGP Helium. “I worked in that position for five years until 2004.”
In 2004, American Gas products was reformed as a partnership between Louis, Mike and Jim Hermetet.
“The original business was very home-care oriented. We did a tremendous amount of oxygen volume,” says Mike. “When we got back into the business we really analyzed where we wanted to go first and decided to target the biotech and pharmaceutical business. And then we got into the microbulk nitrogen business.”
Shortly thereafter, AGP started to sell to national accounts as a helium supplier, before the first helium shortage. After that, the company began to source its own product.
“That’s really where we’ve been successful,” says Mike. “We managed to develop relationships with independent well producers and now have a series of wells that supply our helium needs. We really developed the helium business nationally.”
The company, which acts as a distributor in the New England market and a supplier of helium nationally, serves the local cylinder and Micro Bulk gas markets in addition to its national accounts. It has five locations and 100 employees across the country.
“I’ve worked as a distributor for 35 of my 40 years,” says Mike. “To me, getting back into the distributor business was like falling out of bed. But my five years at BOC were a very good education. You see a different environment and it gives you a different perspective on the business to see how the majors think and operate.”
Today, the third generation of the D’Auria family works for AGP, as Matt D’Auria and Michael D’Auria, Jr. both work in the business.