Wolseley plc, based in Reading, United Kingdom, acquired the assets of Lawrence Plumbing Supply Co., and the shares of Castle Supply Co. and Castle North Corp. (“Castle Group”) were acquired from Joseph Lawrence, Joseph White, Robert Stern, Robert Caldwell and John Thomas in October. Castle Group is a distributor of plumbing products with 27 locations in Florida. This acquisition will complement Wolseley's established presence in Florida's commercial plumbing market.

Castle Group had sales of $165.3 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, and gross assets of $28.4 million at that date, Wolseley reported.

Castle North has combined with Castle Supply. They have joined Wolseley's North American division, which also includes Ferguson, Stock Building Supply and Wolseley Canada, and will operate under the name Castle, a Wolseley company.

The Castle management team and associates will remain in place, according to Bob Cardwell, Castle Supply president, in a letter to the industry posted on the company's Web site.

“We will implement the best practices of both companies to offer even greater efficiency and value to our customers,” Cardwell said in the letter.

“We will have access to expanded inventories to broaden our product offering.”

Castle Supply was named SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES' Wholesaler of the Year for 2005. For more information, visit www.castlesupply.com.

In other news, Ferguson acquired Northern Water Works Supply, which was described as the Midwest's largest independent wholesaler of water and wastewater (sewer) products to municipalities, contractors and public and private water systems in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, western Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Ferguson purchased the wholesaler from David B. McNair, David B. McNair Grantor Retained Annuity Trust, Janet B. McNair, Ron J. Vasko and J. Jeffrey Mogush in October.

NWWS had sales of $91.2 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 and gross assets of $20.1 million at that date, Ferguson reported.

From a network of six branches with 115 employees, NWWS distributes a full line of pipe, fittings, valves, water meters, fire hydrants, maintenance and repair products and other components that are used to transport clean water and wastewater between reservoirs, according to Prestwick Partners, agent to Northern Water Works Supply.