Wilson Industries, a subsidiary of Smith International, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all the net assets of Houston-based Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Corp.

Van Leeuwen is a leading provider of pipe, valves and fittings to new construction and maintenance, repair and operating projects. It has branch operations in eight states and employs about 300 people. In fiscal 2000, Van Leeuwen had revenues from operations in the United States of $190 million.

Van Leeuwen plans to focus its efforts in European and Asian markets, where it sees possibilities for strong growth. The company also is keeping its Canadian operations, according to an industry source.

"We want to be No. 1 or 2 in all selected market statements," said Koos Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group B.V., the Dutch parent of Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube. "Wilson and Van Leeuwen complement each other very well in the United States. We are also exploring opportunities with Wilson for further cooperation in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to improve the service to our global customers."

John Kennedy, president and CEO of Wilson, stated: "Van Leeuwen has established a strong position in the U.S. refining, petrochemical and power generation markets through the expertise of its people. The combined company will provide broader geographic coverage and an expanded product and service offering to our customers in the United States."

The transaction was expected to close Jan. 31, subject to regulatory approval.