Two Southwestern PVF powerhouses will join forces as the result of a planned acquisition of the assets and business operations of R.J. Gallagher Co. by Red Man Pipe & Supply Co. The two firms have signed a definitive agreement to the acquisition and plan to finalize the deal during the fourth quarter.

The acquisition will strengthen Red Man's presence in the Houston area, particularly in stainless steel. Red Man entered the Houston industrial-PVF market in 1995, when the company bought the industrial-PVF division of Vinson Supply. The acquisition also expands the downstream capabilities of Red Man, which has long been known as a supplier for oil-field exploration and production, and gives the company a prominent position in the stainless-steel and alloy markets.

"Gallagher fits Red Man's strategy to grow our downstream business, providing additional locations, experienced personnel and product offering," said Craig Ketchum, president of Red Man, in a press statement. "Gallagher's 50+ years of industrial market knowledge and strength will enhance Red Man's ability to be 'the supplier of choice.'"

The combined firms will have 61 locations in 12 states, in addition to Red Man's 11 sales offices and Red Man Measurement Co., a fabrication facility in Tulsa, Okla., serving the gas industry.

Red Man Pipe, headquartered in Tulsa, ranked No. 16 on the 1999 Supply House Times Premier 150 list, while Houston-based R.J. Gallagher was at No. 73, based on estimates from industry sources. Gallagher reportedly had been in sale negotiations with at least one other industrial-PVF distributor within the last year.

Terms of the pending sale were not disclosed.