Mueller Industries acquired certain assets of Colonial Engineering Inc.'s Fort Pierce, Fla., operations for $14.5 million. These operations manufacture injected molded plastic pressure fittings for plumbing, agricultural, and industrial use, including an extensive line of PVC Schedule 40 and 80 and CPVC fittings, and generated sales of approximately $15 million in 2001.

Chairman Harvey Karp stated, "This acquisition will improve Mueller's position in the control market by broadening our line of plastic fittings. Mueller will be able to offer our customers a single source for DWV and pressure plastic fittings. Benefits should be realized as we leverage our core manufacturing capabilities in injection molding as well as our selling and distribution costs."

Also during the third quarter, the company acquired a 16% equity interest in Conbraco Industries for $7.3 million in cash. Conbraco, headquartered in Matthews, N.C., is a manufacturer of ball valves, automation products, backflow preventors, butterfly valves, check valves, forged steel products, marine valves, safety relief valves, strainers and plumbing and heating products for commercial and industrial applications.

Mueller also announced the acquisition of Overstreet-Hughes Co. of Carthage, Tenn., for $6.4 million. Overstreet-Hughes manufactures precision tubular components and assemblies primarily for the OEM air-conditioning market. The company had 2001 sales of about $8 million.