Brief news stories

PP&L Resources Acquires McClure Co.

PP&L Resources Inc. (NYSE: PPL) reached an agreement to buy Harrisburg, Penn.-based McClure Co., said William Hecht, chairman, president and CEO of PP&L Resources. McClure Co., ranked No. 32 in the PM 1998 Pipe Trades Giants, provides construction and maintenance services related to plumbing and process piping.

U.S. Industries Realigns Zurn

Following a comprehensive restructuring, Zurn Industries will operate four business units, including a USI Bath and Plumbing Products division. USI Bath and Plumbing Products will include the Jacuzzi and Eljer branded bath and spa lines. Annualized sales of this division are expected to be approximately $1.1 billion.

GroupMac Announces Acquisitions; Partnership

Group Maintenance America Corp. (NYSE: MAK) acquired nine more companies with an aggregate annual revenue in excess of $110 million during the second quarter, the company said. The Houston-based consolidator now operates companies in 53 cities in 25 states.

GroupMac also announced that it was named the “preferred provider” of plumbing services for ServiceMaster (NYSE: SVM). Services will include the maintenance and repair of plumbing and kitchen equipment.

ServiCenter USA Expands

ServiCenter USA closed or has pending transactions for two companies with aggregate revenues in excess of $57 million, its parent company Northwestern Corp. (NYSE: NOR) said. ServiCenter now operates in 22 markets in 17 states.

ARS Officer Resigns

American Residential Services chief operating officer, Gordon Timmons, resigned June 30 to pursue opportunities in real estate, according to the company. Timmons will continue to serve as a director of the company and member of the executive committee of the board.

Nortek Sells Universal-Rundle

Nortek Inc. (nyse: ntk) reached an agreement in principle to sell its plumbing products business, Universal-Rundle Corp., to Evanston, Ill.-based Crane Plumbing, according to Nortek CEO Richard Bready. Universal-Rundle, headquartered in New Castle, Penn., had sales of approximately $104.5 million in 1997.

British Giant Integrates Two U.S. Companies

British building materials group Wolseley plc will be integrating the operations of two of its plumbing, heating and industrial products distribution businesses, according to the company. Calf.-based Familian Corp. will be integrated with Va.-based Ferguson Enterprises Inc. The two companies had combined sales of $2.3 billion in 1997.

OSHA Increases Inspections

The number of inspections is up 13 percent in 1998 compared to last year, according to data released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. More than half of all the inspections conducted in the first half of 1998 were in the construction industry.

Lavelle Industries Awarded Certification

Lavelle Industries, manufacturer of Korky® flappers, was awarded the ISO 9002 certification from Underwriters Laboratories Inc, the company said. The scope of registration included the manufacture and packaging of elastomeric replacement plumbing products including toilet flappers, faucet components and plungers for retail and wholesale plumbing distribution.

NY Construction Workers Riot

Thousands of construction workers rioted in Manhattan July 1 because a $33 million contract was given to a non-union company, reports said. More than 20,000 construction workers showed up at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters, blocking traffic for hours. The Construction Industry Partnership for the 21st Century said they would sue the MTA if the non-union company is not removed.

Distinguished State Industries Rep Dies

James Prushankin, a 37–year State Industries rep, died June 16 from complications following a heart-bypass surgery. Prushankin, 76, had recently been honored by the Tenn.-based company with a service pin and plaque for his years of work.

Business Success Tour

Tom Grandy, a business consultant to the business trades, will present a full-day seminar in seven cities about “Fifteen Things All Successful Companies Have In Common.” The tour, Aug. 31 – Oct. 8, will be held in Jacksonville, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; Columbus, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Madison, Wis.; and Omaha, Neb. For more information, call 800/897-2178.

ASA Officers, Directors Take Office

The American Subcontractors Association swore in new officers and directors last month, the organization said. Maynard Hulm took office as president, Floyd Warkol as vice president, Richard Kohls as second vice president, Gerry Martin as treasurer and Anne Bigane Wilson as secretary.

Free Sinks From Elkay

Elkay Manufacturing Co. said it will send contractors a free sink for every eight Starlite sinks that are sold. The “Free Upgrade” promotion will run through Oct. 31; certificates are available from participating wholesalers.