Zurn Industries has agreed to buy Eljer Industries.

Zurn Industries Inc., Erie, PA, has agreed to buy Eljer Industries Inc., Dallas, TX, paying $24 in cash a share for all of Eljer’s roughly 7.2 million shares outstanding. “The acquisition of Eljer fits perfectly with Zurn’s strategic focus on plumbing products and the growth of those businesses,” said Robert R. Womack, Zurn chairman and CEO. “Eljer’s products and markets are very complementary with those of Zurn and we believe the combined business has significant advantages.”

Manufacturers of plumbing and fire protection products to the specifying engineer, Zurn reported 1996 revenues of $421 million. Eljer is a leading manufacturer of residential and commercial plumbing, heating and ventilation products with 1995 revenues totaling $397.4 million. Eljer’s U.S. Brass Corp. subsidiary is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and last month filed its third amended reorganization plan.

Scott G. Arbuckle, Eljer chairman and CEO said on the merger, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Zurn which we feel is in the best interest of our shareholders and also provides the company with a strong partner and resources for future growth. The management teams of our two organizations fit well and we believe the outlook for the combined organization to be exciting.”

The transaction has received the approval of the boards of directors of both companies and is now subject to regulatory approvals. Zurn will finance the transaction through a combination of internal cash resulting from its recent sale of business units and loans by its existing lenders.