Industry consolidation continues, among both wholesalers and manufacturers. Here are some of the recent transactions announced:

Wolseley plc

Wolseley plc (Reading, England) said its Ferguson subsidiary, based in Newport News, VA, acquired HVAC distributor Mobile Supply Co., Mobile, AL, in November. Mobile has two locations and reported 2004 sales of $12.3 million.

Also in November, Ferguson acquired South Tahoe Plumbing, which operates a single branch in South Lake Tahoe, CA, from which it distributes plumbing and HVAC equipment, primarily for the residential market. Its sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004 were $1.6 million, the company said. In January, Ferguson acquired the assets of Colgan Distributors and Colgan Cabinets, a Louisiana-based distributor of HVAC products and residential cabinets. Colgan's sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004 were $11 million, the company said.

Wolseley's Stock Building Supply subsidiary acquired Universal Supply Co., Hammonton, NJ, a seven-branch diversified distributor of building materials, from members of the Umosella family, in February. The acquisition gives Stock its first presence in the state of New Jersey. Universal had sales of $142 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005.

Wolseley's European Distribution Group also made some acquisitions. PBM acquired Alain Carrelage, a floor tiling distributor with one outlet in Toulouse, France, in February.

Also, PBM agreed to acquire DAFI, a distributor of heavy side products, which operates 18 branches in the Rhome-Alpes region of southeast France. The acquisition is subject to approval by the French Finance Ministry and is expected to close in April.

The entry of Stock into its 31st U.S. state and expansion of PBM into southeast France illustrate how Wolseley is expanding its geographic footprint for future growth, according to Charlie Banks, group chief executive.

Mid-City Supply Co.

Mid-City Supply Co., Elkhart, IN, purchased certain assets of Walmer Supply Co., which had store locations in Warsaw and Fort Wayne, IN. The Warsaw store was remodeled and re-opened as Mid-City Supply. The Fort Wayne store was to be closed permanently.

The 18,000-sq.-ft. Warsaw store is the 7th location for Mid-City Supply, which also has branches in Jenison, MI; South Bend, Plymouth, Michigan City and Valparaiso, IN.

Walmer Supply had served Kosciusko County and the surrounding area since 1952 under the ownership of Robert Walmer and his father, Warren Walmer.

Mid-City said it plans to offer a wider breadth of product and available inventory and value-added services, such as Web order entry, guaranteed inventory of the most popular items, faster will-call service and guaranteed order accuracy. The wholesaler offers promotions and events throughout the year, including truckload sales, monthly sales flyers and trip incentives. The current trip promotion, scheduled for January 2007, is a six-night western Carribbean cruise. More than 200 customers and guests are expected to qualify for the trip.

Family-owned Mid-City Supply, founded in 1947, was recently selected as “Business of the Year” by the Michiana Chapter of the Society of Human Resource management.

Ward Manufacturing

Ward Manufacturing has acquired the assets of Wisconsin Nipple and Fitting Corp. This will expand Ward's product offering of malleable pipe fittings and unions, cast-iron pipe fittings and WARDFLEX corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST).

Wisconsin Nipple and Fitting is primarily a manufacturer of carbon welded and seamless pipe nipples for the industrial pipe-valves-fittings market. The company also manufactures stainless steel and brass nipples for the sprinkler and plumbing markets. Its extensive inventory and manufacturing and warehousing capacity have enabled Wisconsin Nipple to fill standard and custom orders within two to three days. The company has been cutting and threading pipe and nipples since 1950.

The new company will be known as Wisconsin Nipple and Fitting, a division of Ward Manufacturing Inc. Manufacturing and distribution operations will remain in Milwaukee.

Technical data and list price sheets are available through the Wisconsin Nipple Web site at Projects are being quoted, and orders accepted, with deliveries subject to inventories and availability.

For more information on Ward Manufacturing, visit the company's Web site at